Kansas man missing for 23 years found submerged in car

Reuters News
Posted: May 26, 2015 2:33 PM

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Reuters) - The body of a man missing since 1992 has been recovered from the driver's seat of a car submerged in a Kansas lake, authorities said on Tuesday.

Fremont O'Berg, who was 57 when he disappeared, was found alone in his 1981 Chevrolet Citation automobile in about 20 feet of water in Hillsdale Lake, said Wayne Minckley, undersheriff of Miami County. O'Berg lived in rural Paola, Kansas, near the lake, he said.

A fisherman reported seeing the vehicle on sonar used to find fish, Minckley said. Divers on Thursday found the car about 40 feet from a boat ramp on the lake, which is about 40 miles southwest of Kansas City, Minckley said. The car was towed by chain to shore, he said.

An autopsy of the body was conducted but no foul play is suspected, Minckley said. O'Berg may have accidentally left the nearby road and plunged into the lake, he said.

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Authorities searched Hillsdale Lake, other lakes and the surrounding area after O'Berg disappeared 23 years ago.

"You are always hopeful, but sometimes you think it is never going to be solved after 20 years,"  Minckley said. “It's a huge relief for the family as well as for the sheriff's office."

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Lisa Lambert)