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CAP Supports Hand County Search

March 14, 2024

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Civil Air Patrol’s South Dakota Wing participated in the search for a missing 17-year-old March 11 and 12 in Hand County.

Unfortunately, local authorities found Wyatt Rowland of Miller deceased in the afternoon of March 12. Wyatt was reported missing on the morning of March 10. Authorities found the youth's pickup truck in a slough north of Miller and his body nearby.

"We flew nearly every search pattern we are trained to fly," said Col. Mike Beason, who directed air operations for CAP’s part of the mission.

Two CAP aircraft participated in the search on March 11, flying extensively in the Miller area. CAP flew one additional flight March 12 around Lake Louise, north of Miller, looking for Rowland’s red pickup as a critical clue.  

Aircrews were from CAP units in Sioux Falls, Tea, and Pierre. Incident command staff from across the wing participated. Seventeen CAP members assisted in the search efforts. Maj. Richard Rezac, who lives in the Miller area, coordinated on the ground with the agencies and CAP leadership.

Hand County requested CAP assistance via the state emergency operations center and the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Hand County Emergency Management was the lead agency in the search. Numerous county sheriffs and emergency management offices, volunteer emergency responders, and citizens from central South Dakota joined them.

"Wyatt's loss saddens us," said Col. Michael Marek, South Dakota Wing commander. "However, we hope his family knows that we and the other agencies involved did all we could to help find him. I am proud of the professionalism and teamwork our South Dakota CAP members displayed in assisting in the search."

Tagged As: Search and Rescue

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