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Authorities: Search for missing 90-year-old Charles Folsom now a recovery mission

Posted at 6:42 PM, Aug 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-23 21:15:45-04

The search for missing 90-year-old Charles Folsom is now a recovery mission, and police are no longer asking for the public's help.

Dodge County investigators said Thursday that they will do their best to bring some closure to Folsom's family. Police, firefighters, and volunteers had scoured the Elkhorn River near Fremont looking for Folsom, who was reported missing on Tuesday.

Things can move slow in rural Dodge County. At one point Thursday, neighbors and police waited more than an hour to join the search underway on the other side of a train.

From the deployment of helicopters, drones, and boats in the area, to the hundreds of volunteers who showed up to help, the search for Folsom this week brought much activity to the area.

"It's kind of hectic just because I’m so used to it being quiet,” Dodge County resident Mikala Ellison said.

To those who knew him, Folsom — known as "Major Chuck" — wasn't much of a slow mover himself.

"A ruff old fella, well known and well liked and I couldn't help but get a liking to him,” Dodge County resident Ron Kuhlman said. "He was 90 years old and still acting like he was 21,” said Lt. Shane Wimer with the Fremont Police Department.

Yesterday, crews took to the air and water to search for 90-year-old Folsom, as helicopters, drones, boats and hundreds of volunteers looked for hours even after the search was officially called off for the day. Police say they found not only Folsom's SUV yesterday, but also some personal belongings like a wallet, camera, and some clothing close to the river. 

Residents and Wimer said Folsom spent time doing what he loved.

“He's 90 years old, out here by himself, and taking pictures — doing what he loved to do."

For Wimer this search isn't just business as usual, it's personal.

“I was in shock that he was missing, and I wanted to get up here right away,” he said.

While the volunteers were sent home, the search for Folsom's body continues as the community and family waits.

“It's for closure. It's to find out what actually happened to the man — he deserves that. He was a purple heart veteran and fought in two wars,” Wimer said.

Wimer said they will continue to actively search for at least another week.