Law enforcement, emergency responders and volunteers spent several hours Wednesday, July 21, searching the Pomme De Terre River, southeast of Bolivar, for a man who had jumped from Sunset Bridge on Rt. Y in the early morning hours.
On Thursday, July 22, Polk County Sheriff Danny Morrison said the man’s family reported to law enforcement that they had located him Wednesday afternoon and he was safe.
“The sheriff’s office was able to locate him and confirm that Thursday by making contact with him,” Morrison said.
Morrison said his department, along with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri Department of Conservation and volunteers with local fire protection districts, spent 12 hours on scene Wednesday searching for the man, whom Morrison declined to identify.
“We were searching by vehicle, by foot and with our K-9,” Morrison said.
Deputies continued to work on the incident throughout Wednesday night and Thursday, following up on leads and reports and canvassing the area by vehicle, Morrison said.
“The sheriff’s office alone put two days’ worth of resources into confirming he was OK,” Morrison said.
During the search Wednesday, Morrison told the BH-FP deputies responded to the area of Sunset Bridge in the early morning hours of Wednesday for a report of a person having a mental health crisis.
He said deputies requested assistance from the Missouri Highway Patrol and Missouri Department of Conservation, which searched via boats.
Trooper Sam Carpenter with the highway patrol confirmed MSHP Marine Division personnel looked for the missing man who “reportedly went into the river off of the bridge.”
Carpenter said an MSHP helicopter also assisted with the search efforts.
While the bridge and roadway were closed to traffic for some time, they were opened to through traffic on Wednesday afternoon as the search wore on.
Carpenter had asked for people to avoid the area of Sunset Bridge on Rt. Y, east of Mo. 13, to help prevent traffic congestion.