UPDATE: Police narrow down search area for missing man - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Police narrow down search area for missing man

Posted:
MADISON (WKOW) -- A 26-year-old Kaukauna man is still missing after last being seen at a Madison hotel. Police say they will resume the search at 9:00 a.m. on Friday.
 
Police search for Charlie Geurts after he was reported missing on Wednesday morning.
 
Police say they have narrowed the search area that they're going to focus on. The area around the 3000 block of Waunona Way less than a mile from the hotel. Police say a neighbor called 911 reporting a prowler or strange person in their yard merely a half hour after Charlie Geurts left the Sheraton Wednesday morning. Police have a strong reason to believe it was him.
 
Geurts was last seen leaving the Sheraton Hotel 2:00 Wednesday morning. Leaving his cell phone in the room and his truck in the parking lot. Since then police have done everything to find him.

The Sheraton Hotel would not give any information about the case and their involvement with the investigation.
 
Co-workers say they're concerned about his safety.
 
"It's a little scary when you find out someone you know just all of a sudden isn't there and you don't know what happened, " says Geurts' co-worker, Amy Haack.
 
Police will continue to search with K-9 units early Friday morning. They will focus a majority of their attention on the area along Waunona Way.
 
 
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MADISON (WKOW)-- A 26-year-old Kaukauna man is still missing after last being seen nearly two days ago at a Madison hotel. Police called off the search at nightfall Thursday, but will start again at daybreak Friday morning.
    
Police say they have narrowed the search area that they're going to focus on. The area around the 3000 block of Waunona Way less than a mile from the hotel. Police say a neighbor called 911 reporting a prowler or strange person in their yard merely a half hour after Charlie Geurts left the Sheraton Wednesday morning. Police have a strong reason to believe it was him.

After two days of cold Wisconsin temps, police are concerned for his well being. Geurts was in town for an agriculture convention he never made it to.

"Extremely concerned. We're in communication with his family up in the Fox River Valley area. This is very sad," says Madison Police Captain Joe Balles.

The search started Wednesday afternoon a few hours after Guerts' co-workers realized he was unaccounted for.

"The thought was is he just in his room sleeping or is he in another room," says co-worker Bill Madigan.

Geurts was last seen leaving the Sheraton hotel 2:00 Wednesday morning. Leaving his cell phone in the room and his truck in the parking lot. Since then police have done everything to find him.

"We've had Madison Fire Department using thermal imaging equipment," Balles explains. "We've had K-9's, we've had horses and we've had numerous officers working the John Nolen Drive corridor."

A half hour after Geurts was last seen leaving the hotel via surveillance video, a neighbor less than a mile away called 911 reporting a person in their backyard.

"We've got some suspicions it may have been our missing person," Balles says.

Police are asking everyone in that area to check sheds, backyards, tree houses or anywhere Geurts may have gone to seek shelter. Their command center will be open all night taking calls.

"Given the weather conditions this is potentially very tragic. We just want to try and locate him as soon as we possibly can," Balles says.

Police will continue to search with K-9 units early Friday morning. They will focus a majority of their attention on the area along Waunona Way.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Co-workers of missing man Charles Geurts tell 27 News nothing was out of the ordinary in Geurts' behavior, as Geurts and other workers socialized in Madison before Geurts disappeared on the eve of a work conference.

Bill Madigan of Agri-Partners Co-op says he and more than a dozen of the firm's employees dined at Samba's restaurant in downtown Madison Tuesday evening. Madigan says Geurts and others went bowling, and he heard the group arrive home at the Sheraton Hotel.

"They didn't feel there was anything excessive, they were doing anything out of the ordinary," Madigan tells 27 News.

Madison Police spokesperson Joel DeSpain says hotel surveillance camera video shows Geurts leaving the hotel just after 2 A.M. Wednesday morning.

DeSpain says there is nothing to indicate any foul play in Geurts' disappearance.

DeSpain also says there are no apparent, red flags in the life of the 26-year old Kaka agronomist. "His life was going quite well," DeSpain tells 27 News.

DeSpain and co-workers tell 27 News Geurts failed to attend Tuesday's opening day of the conference of agricultural consultants at the Alliant Energy Center due to business appointments, and attendance at a funeral. They say Geurts met co-workers at the restaurant Tuesday evening.

Using police dogs and a police officer on horseback, authorities conducted searches of the hotel grounds Thursday, a large wooded area of cross country ski trails with access to Lake Monona, and portions of the lake itself. DeSpain said searching had also taken place Wednesday.

DeSpain said reverse 911 calls were placed to lakefront residents in both Madison and Monona to urge them to check garages and outbuildings for any sign of Geurts.

"He joined us at the restaurant and seemed fine," co-worker Amy Haack tells 27 News.

"When you find out someone that you know, that works with you, all of a sudden, isn't there, and you don't know what happened, it's unnerving," Haack says.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison police have done a reverse 911 call to residents regarding a missing man.

Charles Geurts, 26, from Kaukauna, was in town with co-workers for the WABA Convention and Trade Show at the Alliant Energy Center. 

Joel DeSpain with the Madison Police Department says Geurts went out with co-workers Tuesday evening and at some point came back to his hotel room.  His roommate told police it didn't appear Geurts ever went to sleep and may have left the hotel room again.

DeSpain says it would also be prudent for residents living near Waunona Way to check their property, as a bike path connects the area of disappearance to Waunona Way, and it's possible Mr. Geurts could have walked in that direction.  The police are also asking those who live along the John Nolen Drive corridor to check their detached garages, sheds, etc., just in case Geurts tried to find shelter.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison police are searching again Thursday morning for a man who went missing early Wednesday.

Police say Charles Geurts, 26, from Kaukauna, was in town with co-workers for the WABA Convention and Trade Show at the Alliant Energy Center.  Joel DeSpain with the Madison Police Department says Geurts went out with co-workers Tuesday evening and at some point came back to his hotel room. But his roommate told police it didn't appear Geurts ever went to sleep and might have left the hotel room again.

Police searched behind the Sheraton Hotel on John Nolen Drive Wednesday morning with K-9s and are back out there Thursday morning to search the area again.

Investigators say they're concerned about Geurts' welfare because of the cold weather. They do not suspect foul play and say Geurts is not believed to be a danger to himself or anyone else. They also don't believe he left the area.

Geurts is 26, about 5'11" tall with blond hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt, blue jeans and boots.

DeSpain says Geurts works for Agri-Partners Co-op out of Appleton.

If you know where he is, contact the Madison Police Department at (608) 266-4275.

 

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