MISSING HUNTER: 'We just wait . . . and hope'
Kory Kelly's mother, Jan, still holds hope that she might hear from her son. It's something every mother in her situation would do, she said. "We don't know," she said. "We just wait and think and hope, just maybe I'll get that phone call." It wa...
Kory Kelly's mother, Jan, still holds hope that she might hear from her son.
It's something every mother in her situation would do, she said.
"We don't know," she said. "We just wait and think and hope, just maybe I'll get that phone call."
It was six weeks ago Monday that the 38-year-old man went missing while grouse hunting with friends in the Red Lake Wildlife Management area north of Fourtown, Minn.
No sign of the hunter turned up during a search the day before Thanksgiving, and for now, there are no ground searches planned.
Tonight, friends of the Kelly family are holding a benefit to raise money to support the family as they continue their search efforts.
Overalls, socks, and a lighter believed to be Kelly's were found in the area where he went missing. However, massive searches organized by the Beltrami County Sheriff's Department with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension using volunteers on foot, on ATVs, and in the air have yielded no sign of the hunter.
Family members and friends also have been out searching for Kelly through the organized searches and out looking on their own.
It's been a difficult month and a half for the family, but the community support and help from volunteers has been overwhelming, Jan said.
"It was just amazing, all the volunteers," she said. "We weren't in the right place or going in the right direction, I guess."
She doesn't expect foot searches to continue, as snow and colder weather set in, she said.
Air searches and occasional ATV searches will continue, according to Beryl Wernberg, Beltrami County Sheriff's Department emergency management director. A meeting Thursday will determine how the search effort will proceed, she said.
Wernberg said as muzzleloader hunting season begins, anyone hunting north of Fourtown can help search efforts by keeping an eye out for anything unusual.
If a hunter sees something unusual, such as discarded items of clothing, they can mark the spot it's found and report it at to the Sheriff's office, toll-free, (888) 449-9111. It's best not to touch or move items that are found, Wernberg said.
While the family waits to hear word of Kelly, they try to stay busy, his mother said.
She's continued doing daily activities, including attending a Bible study group at home. On Tuesday, she was getting ready to see her grandsons, Kelly's boys, as one of them played in a high school hockey tournament.
"There are tough days, tough moments, but we've got to keep going," she said. "We try to keep busy. That helps."
Tonight, burgers and fries will be served during a freewill donation benefit to help raise money for the Kelly family. The benefit will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Crookston American Legion, Post 20.
All proceeds will go to help the Kelly family, according to family friend John Barrus.
If you want to help but cannot attend the benefit, you can send donations to John Barrus, 607 First Ave. Northeast, Crookston, Minn., 56716.
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans will provide supplemental funds for the Kelly family benefit, matching as much as 50 cents per dollar raised up to a set amount, Barrus said.