Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Weather tragedy hits home

From the KFVS 12 News Team--this story is about Crazy Larry's step son. Everyone knows my cousin Crazy Larry--he is one of my favorite relatives, for many reasons, and he has this wonderful wife Pat, who is a saint to put up with him. John Owens is her son, and he had as of late been living with them. Weather tragedies are not foreign to this family, as they lost their wonderful old plantation home that I always think of as the family seat to a tornado a few years ago--there was something about that house that I just loved. Anyway--new weather tragedy is still unfolding--John has still not been found and it is day 10.

Search for Missing Man in Flooded Waters Turns to Recovery Effort
By: CJ Cassidy

CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo. - Rising waters may have claimed a fifth victim in the Heartland.

The weekend search for John Owens of Caruthersville turned into a recovery effort Monday.

Owens disappeared from his vehicle sometime Friday when water flooded a road near the Mississippi River Levee in Pemiscot County.

Search crews say they'll continue their efforts as long as they can.

Owens' family members however say John was the kind of guy who would always lend a helping hand and they think he drowned when he set out to help a friend.

"The toughest part of it is we've found no body. It could be two weeks, it could be never," Bryan Owens said. He can't believe he may never see his younger brother again.

He says 38-year-old John wasn't the type to take chances. But he wouldn't hesitate when it came to helping someone.

"He was on his way over to help a friend sandbag his property, save it from the river," he said.

Rescue crews believe the rising waters got to him first. All you could see was the top of John's jeep Monday afternoon.

Deputies say Friday night Owen's friend heard someone calling for help, but couldn't see anyone when he came outside.

"It was late. After dark. He came out Saturday afternoon and saw the truck. That's the initial call that came in. We've been here ever since," Deputy Jess Cagle with the Pemiscot County Sheriff's Department said.

Search crews say they found a cell phone cover belonging to John Owens on top of his Jeep Cherokee Saturday afternoon.

They believe at some point he jumped off of his vehicle and tried to get to safety, but officers with the Missouri Water Patrol say navigating the floods even in a boat can be tricky.

"You have to put in off the levee go through tree line, deal with currents. Even once you get out there you have debris. There's backwater from the flood going through, and other objects to tend with," Officer David Nelson with the Missouri Water Patrol said.

Still, seeing search crews continue their efforts brings comfort to Owens' family.

While John's dad walked along the banks gazing out at the waters that may have claimed his son, his brother reflected on his memories.

"He's a good guy. Hard worker, had three kids, and a real momma's boy," he said.

Crews from Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas helped search the flooded areas by boat and from the air.

The Missouri Water Patrol plans on bringing in sonar equipment and a diver to see if they have better luck that way.


VickiGaudreau said...

Paige, I'm keeping John & the rest of the family in my prayers. That really sucks. *hugs*


Holly said...

I so hope someone came along and pulled him off the top of the jeep.

I'll keep the family in my prayers.

Lazy A Ranch said...

I am so so sorry and sad to read this post. Prayers for you and your family, John sounds like he was a great person and will be missed. Again, I am so sorry Paige.

Robin Sallie said...

Maybe someone got him out. I'll keep praying, Paige.

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