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Recovery efforts for 22-year-old continue in Spring Green

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 6:25 PM CDT
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SPRING GREEN, Wis. (WMTV) - Recovery crews are still searching for 22-year-old Parker Kruse.

Kruse went missing Saturday after he was swept away by the Wisconsin River while trying to help another boater. This happened after Kruse was thrown overboard following a boating collision.

Since then, several search and rescue teams have come to assist with the recovery mission.

“Family first, so we’re going to be here for each other no matter what,” Kruse’s Aunt and Godmother Janna Johnson-Fuchs said.

“It’s amazing the number of volunteers, this community is pretty great whenever a tragedy strikes,” Kruse’s Aunt and Godmother Joni Johnson-Kropp said.

Kruse’s family estimates that dozens of friends and community members have brought their own boats to assist agencies in searching the Wisconsin River.

“Rivers are always a challenge because of the constant flow; what is the wind doing, what is the current doing, what’s the water doing?” K-9 handler Melinda Clark said. “Today, we went from about 2 feet of water to 9 feet deep, within 6 feet of each other.”

Clark and her dog Lincoln were at the riverfront to assist the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources, local first responders, and two new volunteer groups, Bruce’s Legacy and Wings of Hope.

“The main thing for us is bringing closure to the family even when it’s not a great ending, the family needs closure,” Clark said.

And until they get closure, Kruse’s aunts say the only way they are making it through this tough time, is by sticking together.

“We’re pretty lucky to have the family that we do, we’re always there for each other,” Johnson-Kropp said.

“Just like parker dropped everything to save that boater, we dropped everything to be with our family, and we’re going to be here until we find him,” Johnson-Fuchs said.

Two of the volunteer search groups are using sonar to help locate Kruse. Wings of Hope said they have been using sonar that can communicate the difference between a hard rock and soft tissue, which will be helpful in locating Kruse.

There is a vigil at 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Wisconsin Riverside Resort in Spring Green.

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