Search continues for BlahnaThe search for Joshua Blahna, a missing Kensal, N.D., area man, continued Monday and again nothing was found, said Mike Tufte, Foster County sheriff. Blahna went missing between April 25 and 26. His car was found near his mother’s house about 10 miles northwest of Kensal. Tracks from the car led investigators to a shoe in the James River that his mother later identified as belong to Blahna.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
The search for Joshua Blahna, a missing Kensal, N.D., area man, continued Monday and again nothing was found, said Mike Tufte, Foster County sheriff.
Blahna went missing between April 25 and 26. His car was found near his mother’s house about 10 miles northwest of Kensal. Tracks from the car led investigators to a shoe in the James River that his mother later identified as belong to Blahna.
The 26-year-old is described as 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing about 150 pounds with black hair and hazel eyes.
Law enforcement officials have been searching the area where his shoe was found and five miles south on the James River to the Arrowwood Lake since April 27.
On Monday the U.S. Border Patrol flew that stretch of the James River in an airplane and found nothing, Tufte said.
Dakota Search Recue Dogs has been searching the waters since April 29 and was joined by the Red River Search and Rescue dog unit on Monday.
The dog from Red River Search and Rescue was taken about two miles south from where the shoe was found and turned up nothing, Tufte said.
All-terrain vehicles also combed the sides and overflowed banks of the James to no avail, he said.
“We’re just going to have to keep watching the edge of the river, we have to see if he appears if nobody has any information of him,” Tutfe said.
Blahna’s family on Sunday offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to his location.
If people have information they can contact the Foster County Sheriff’s Department at 701-652-2251, the Jamestown office of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation at 701-251-2993 or State Radio at 1-800-471-2121.
“We’ve had inquiries but that reward is open yet and it’ll be open until Josh is found,” Tufte said.
The names of at least two people claiming to have information on Blahna have been turned over from the Foster County Sheriff’s Department to the Stutsman County Sheriff’s Office, but no new information was available Monday afternoon, he said.
Blahna was living with his mother, father and with people in Jamestown.
There have been and continue to be a number of obstacles during the search and rescue effort, including poor weather and fast-moving river currents, Tufte said.
Submerged fences are also about a quarter of a mile from the scene, which has limited the search divers’ range, Tufte said.
“If this water would recede and get into the banks we’d be in better shape yet, but we don’t know how long before that happens,” he said.
The search is planned to continue today.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455
or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org