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Published July 29, 2013, 09:09 AM

Family seeks closure 3 months after Minto man swept away

MINTO, N.D. (AP) — Family members of a northeastern North Dakota man who was swept away by spring floodwaters are still seeking closure three months later.

MINTO, N.D. (AP) — Family members of a northeastern North Dakota man who was swept away by spring floodwaters are still seeking closure three months later.

Guy Miller, 55, was in a pickup truck that was washed off a gravel road west of Minto on April 29 by Forest River floodwaters. The vehicle was later recovered, but Miller's body hasn't been found.

"I don't think it will sink in 100 percent until we find him," sister Kelly Schanilec told the Grand Forks Herald.

There have been several organized searches, and family members and friends also have combed the area on foot, on all-terrain vehicles and in canoes.

"They've thrown everything at it," brother Tony Miller said. "A lot of these guys are volunteers on rescue teams from other areas. To think they have spent so many hours of their own time searching for someone they don't even know, it's pretty incredible."

The last official search occurred about two weeks ago and was handled by the Grand Forks County Water Rescue Team, commanded by Cpl. Thomas Inocencio with the county Sheriff's Department.

With the help of Danny Syrup, Tony Miller's brother-in-law, officials used an industrial-sized compressor to pump air into river mud, creating bubbles.

"The thought was, if we could get the air up to the surface, the dog or dogs could pick up a scent," Miller said. "If he was under there, the dog should pick up something."

The effort failed, but Miller said another organized search might happen next month.

"I don't think we're done yet, by any means," he said. "Every day that the water goes down, that gives us a little more opportunity."

Family members, for the most part, have returned to their everyday routines, working through the week and even finding some time on weekends to relax at the lake.

But Guy Miller and the search for him are never far from their minds.

"Every night when you go to bed you feel this is not right that he's not in a nice warm bed," Schanilec said. "Just knowing that he's out there is hard. That's hard. He's just got to be found. And then it crosses your mind, what if he's never found? When do you stop looking? That wouldn't feel right to quit — not until we find him."

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