Forget recovery search resumes Wednesday

Wednesday, January 7, 2009 | 6:10 p.m. CST; updated 7:12 p.m. CST, Wednesday, January 7, 2009

COLUMBIA — The recovery search for 20-year-old John Paul Forget of Chesterfield resumed Wednesday on the Missouri River.  

The State Water Patrol will continue surface and sonar searches for the body of the man who has been missing since Dec. 16.

Searches began after Forget was suspected of falling off the Interstate 70 bridge near Rocheport. Since then, several attempts of dragging, scanning and patrolling the river have proven unsuccessful, according to the Water Patrol.

A Missouri State Highway Patrol helicopter has flown the area, and a K9 unit trained in human tracking was also used, Sgt. Jerry Callahan of the Water Patrol said.

Forget, a sophomore at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., was traveling east toward St. Louis with two others when their vehicle crashed on the bridge. Forget got out to assess the damage and was nearly struck by a tractor-trailer. He is believed to have fallen from the bridge while trying to avoid the truck.

Searching was discontinued from Dec. 21 to 26 because of heavy ice flow on the river.

A caller from Jefferson City on Jan. 2 reported seeing a body in the river, but the Jefferson City Fire Department and Water Patrol found none after a search.

A surface search of 15 miles near Cooper’s Landing on Jan. 3 was the last patrol to take place before Wednesday.

“We anticipate weekly surface searches as the weather permits,” Callahan said.

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