Facebook group grows as Blahna remains missingAs search efforts for the missing Josh Blahna keep turning up no results and rumors investigated by law enforcement officials led to dead ends, an online group of concerned people is growing by the hour.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
As search efforts for the missing Josh Blahna keep turning up no results and rumors investigated by law enforcement officials led to dead ends, an online group of concerned people is growing by the hour.
The Facebook group called “Bring Josh Blahna Home Safe!!” has more than 740 members after being online for five days.
Facebook is used for social networking, allowing friends and acquaintances to keep in touch by sharing pictures and daily updates about their lives.
Julie Morehouse, a senior at Minnesota State University Moorhead, used it to bring together people concerned for Blahna.
“I want to get the word out so people start being more aware and start looking more,” said Morehouse, who grew up in Kensal with Blahna.
She created the group two days after his shoe was found about 10 miles northwest of Kensal in the James River on April 28.
On Wednesday search efforts near Kensal were kept out of the water and skies by cold temperatures and strong winds, said Mike Tufte, Foster County sheriff. A few crews surveyed the sides of the James via all-terrain vehicles but anything else couldn’t be attempted.
Online, friends and strangers shared thoughts and prayers. They shared where in the state posters are being hung up and the latest news stories are posted to keep rumors at a minimum.
“Since we don’t really have any clues or anything we’re trying to expand it by as much as possible,” Morehouse said.
On the group page people can print out posters with pictures of Blahna and information on the reward in case anyone has seen him.
People who have information may 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.
One user said she will hang posters around Bismarck. Morehouse said she will take care of parts of Fargo and travel north to Mayville to hand more out.
Back on the James River in Foster County, Tutfe had nothing new to report except that the weather really hampered search efforts.
“Not a thing to do but watch the river, that’s all we can do,” he said.
Search efforts are still planned until something is found, but on Tuesday friends, family and other concerned parties took a plane to the sky, and boats on the fast-moving water, Tufte said.
As each day passes without results Tufte said he questions whether Blahna is really underwater or somewhere else.
“We have a couple of people check the river everyday and if nothing shows up there it’s telling me he isn’t in there, he’s someplace,” Tufte said.
Search efforts will continue in the Kensal area today, weather permitting.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by e-mail at email@example.com