One Kansas fisherman found a lot more than his limit of fish when he took to a local lake.
When Olathe, Kansas angler Tim Leeper took a fishing trip to Hillsdale Lake March 17, he didn’t know he would help solve a 23-year-old missing person case. But that’s precisely what happened when Leeper’s underwater sonar detected a large object 20 feet beneath the lake’s surface, just 40 yards north of the lake’s most-used boat ramp.
Upon locating the object, Leeper immediately felt he’d found a car. When his friend agreed, he contacted the Miami County Sheriff’s Office. There were no recent missing persons reports, so the agency didn’t respond until May 21. Buy by that evening, a water rescue team had pulled a 1981 Chevrolet Citation from the lake, and the remains of its driver – Fremont C. “Dusty” O’Berg, who had been missing since 1992 – were still buckled in behind the wheel.
O’Berg hadn’t disappeared without notice. After the Paola, Kansas resident initially went missing, searches were conducted around Miami County, including various bodies of water – even in Hillsdale Lake. The area where the vehicle was ultimately located had even been searched, according to Miami County officials. And while an autopsy has now been performed, the case is still under investigation.
The discovery has brought both closure and more unanswered questions to O’Berg’s family.
“Our father’s recovery answers many questions and is bringing much needed closure for our family,” the O’Berg family said in a statement. “We are fully confident that the Miami County Sheriff will continue to see this case through to its completion. Our family would like to thank Sheriff Kelly and his department for their professionalism and support through the years. In addition, we want to express our gratitude to the Osawatomie Dive Team and Johnson County Fire District No. 2 for their support and professionalism in bringing our father home.”