Friends searching for missing Ludington man near Whiskey Creek.

November 2, 2014


EDEN TWP. — A search is underway for Leonard Allen Vunck, a Ludington man who has been missing since Wednesday. Jamie Killips is organizing the search party that began at 11 a.m. at Whiskey Creek Campground. Searchers were being asked to wear bright clothing, bring water and a charged cell phone (however, cell phone is very weak in that area). 

On Wednesday, Vunck, who has a mental illness, called up a taxi that took him from his Ludington home to Eden Township. The taxi driver dropped him off in the area of Hawley Road between Indian Trails and Wood Trail. Vunck was also carrying ammunition and a tent and told the taxi driver he was going hunting with some friends. Cole said friends of Vunck say they believe the gun is a pellet gun.

Phillips said was last seen Friday around 4 p.m. by two different groups of hunters. He was seen 1/4 mile west of Woods Trail on Hawley Road, the location the taxi dropped him of at.

Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole said he is concerned about finding Vunck,but has been reluctant to organize search parties because the 67-year-old was last seen carrying what was described as a long gun. Phillips said she was sure the gun is actually a pellet gun, two pellet guns, actually.

“My concern is the gun,” Cole said. “I cannot put the lives of deputies and other rescuers at risk if this man has a gun. In addition, he has been reported to be off his medication.” Cole said friends of Vunck cannot verify 100 percent that the gun is a pellet gun.

Cole said the sheriff’s office has been patrolling the roads in that area and the K-9 unit was out in the vicinity today. However, an organized search party is just too risky at this time.

“The safety of the first responders must always come first. That’s always the first rule of emergency services,” Cole said.

Cole said there have also been some conflicting reports of where Vunck may be. “We had someone call today who said they may have seen him on Hawley Road near Walhalla Road at 6 p.m. Friday. That’s 1.5 miles from where he was dropped off. That area, which is mostly national forest, is a large area to cover out there. I want to find Mr. Vunck and I am concerned about his safety.”

Cole added that Vunck has disappeared two other times in recent times. Once he was eventually found in Indiana and the other time he was in Florida.

Vunck is a white male, 6-feet tall, 230 pounds with grey hair and hazel eyes.  It is unknown what clothing he was wearing.

Anyone seeing Mr. Vunck is asked to contact the Mason/Oceana 911 Center at 231-869-5858.

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