Family thankful for search effort and kindness shown

The Brown County Sheriff’s Office reported that Sunday, June 3 shortly after noon, the Sleepy Eye Police Department received a report of missing person Vincent Hugo Mathiowetz. Family members told the police that Mathiowetz left the residence around 8:30 that morning and they were concerned about him.

Around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Mathiowetz’s vehicle was located south of Sleepy Eye, at a boat landing on Highway 4, near the Cottonwood River. A search in the area has been underway since that time.

During a visit at the Mathiowetz home on Tuesday afternoon, Vince’s wife Pat told this writer the family is very thankful for the work of the various law enforcement agencies. Pat was surrounded at home by a sister, two of Vince’s sisters and her sons, Gary and Troy. They all expressed thanks to the searchers and also to everyone who has been so kind and thoughtful to the family.

The Sheriff’s Office has released a statement each day concerning the search for Mathiowetz. Following are excerpts:

On Sunday a search of the area was conducted by the Sleepy Eye Police Department, Brown County Sheriff’s Office, New Ulm Police Department K-9 unit, Sleepy Eye Fire Department, New Ulm Fire Department, Minnesota DNR, Renville County Sheriff’s Office drone and a drone provided by Bolton and Menk.

On Monday, June 4, the Brown County Sheriff’s Office resumed search and recovery efforts and continued to concentrate efforts to the area south of Sleepy Eye and the Cottonwood River. Sheriff’s Deputies were on the water with a river boat using side sonar to identify points of interest as well as recovery tools to attempt to locate the subject.

Northstar Search and Rescue assisted in the search efforts with handlers and K-9s. A total of four handlers and four K-9s (two tracking dogs and two cadaver dogs) aided in the search on land and on the water. Both the tracking dogs on land and the cadaver dogs on land and water all gave strong indications.

Strong currents, low water visibility as well as river debris are hampering the search and recovery efforts.

The search continued on Tuesday. The Sheriff’s Office mentioned that rain forecast for Wednesday could raise the river levels considerably. The Sheriff’s Office was scheduled to resume search efforts Wednesday.