Dozens search for missing Mears man.

February 15, 2017
Liz Reimink of Mason County Emergency Management discusses the search with OC Sheriff Craig Mast, left.

Liz Reimink of Mason County Emergency Management discusses the search with OC Sheriff Craig Mast, left.

Dozens search for missing Mears man.

#MasonCountyNews #OceanaCountyNews #SearchingPerson

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

SUMMIT TOWNSHIP (Mason County) — Dozens of people spent Wednesday morning searching the shores and banks along Lake Michigan at the Mason-Oceana counties line for Ryan Richard Walsworth of Mears.

Walsworth was last seen leaving his residence in Oceana County’s Golden Township Monday morning, Feb. 13, in his white 2012 Ford F150 Crew Cab. The license number is AC85142, and it is a log/farm plate. Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast said family and sheriff’s deputies spent hours searching Walsworth’s family farm and the adjacent area before deciding to ask the public for assistance.

oceana_summit_pentwater_fire_searchOn Monday, a resident along Montgomery Boulevard, along Lake Michigan west of Bass Lake, noticed a white pickup truck parked along the road, Mast said, adding that the resident was unaware at that time that there was a search for a missing person. On Tuesday the resident noticed the news story about Walsworth missing and called authorities.

Mast said law enforcement began searching the area. Oceana County Sheriff’s Office was assisted Tuesday by a US Coast Guard helicopter, the Mason County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit and the Michigan State Police, along with members of Walsworth’s family.

The family then organized a search for today, Feb. 15. Mast said Oceana County Sheriff’s Office is assisting the family and friends, guiding them with their efforts and making sure they stay safe. Mason County Sheriff’s Office, Mason County Emergency Management, and Pentwater Fire Department are also assisting.

Mast said that the Walsworth had expressed to his family that he had been contemplating suicide.

“Our efforts here are to assist the civilian searchers and to make sure they stay safe,” Mast said. “They are searching areas east of the beach, up in the banks. Unfortunately, the likely conclusion is that if Mr. Walsworth took his own life, it occurred in Lake Michigan.”

Large mounds of ice have formed between the lake and the shoreline and constant waves have made any type of visual search below the mounds extremely dangerous, Mast said. The searchers are being assisted by private airplane pilot Dan Hallack of Hart. Mast said even if a body were found in the lake, officials would have to wait for the lake to calm down and then request the Coast Guard’s assistance.

He said regardless of the likely outcome, emergency crews are there to help.

“We will stay here until all efforts are exhausted,” Mast said. “I don’t know exactly when that point of exhaustion is, but we are committed to helping the family and friends of Ryan Walsworth find a conclusion.”

Anyone who may have additional information is asked to contact the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office at 231-873-2121 or Mason-Oceana 911 at 231-869-5858.

This story is copyrighted © 2017 by Media Group 31, LLC and may not be reproduced without its expressed written consent. Please see Use Terms on this page for more details. The photo is used with permission from the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office.

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