Following 12 days of searching the Mississippi River for the body of a missing La Crosse man, authorities have suspended their efforts until Sunday.
Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand said crews worked until 9:00 p.m. Thursday with no results in their efforts to recover the body of 29-year-old Andrew Kingsbury who is believed to have drowned when a vehicle went into the river on January 5th.
Three other bodies were recovered shortly after the incident.
Brand said one final effort will be made on Sunday when a team of 12 people from the Washington County Sheriff's Department will use a special robotic sonar device to scan the area off Levee Park. That's an area where sonar and underwater cameras have not yet been used. That team will also be bringing two airboats.
Brand said if nothing is found the plan is to suspend the search further until the ice opens enough to allow boats in the water and another device called a side scanner. If that is unsuccessful authorities will wait until the ice disappears.
Brand said rescue experts believe the body has not gone farther down river from where the vehicle entered the water.
Meanwhile, Brand said as many as 30 different agencies have aided in the search since January 5th. He said prior to Thursday the total man-hours has been nearly 1,450. Brand said dive-rescue teams from 12 different agencies from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa have helped out.
Brand said all of the help from the different agencies has been volunteer at no cost to Winona County under mutual aid agreements between the departments.
Many local and area agencies from surrounding communities have also assisted and food has also been donated......