A Warsaw native has gone missing in Africa and his family is doing everything they can to find him, fearing he may have been kidnapped.
American pilot Jerry Krause was flying a Beech 1900C aircraft from South Africa to Mali on Sunday, April 7, when he went missing. A former Mission Aviation Fellowship missionary, Krause stayed behind when MAF pulled out of Mali in 2009, choosing to work with Sahel Aviation.
Krause’s wife, Gina, and their children reside in the United States and kept in touch with him via his iPhone. The phone was on when authorities lost contact with his plane.
French communications organization Orange, which operates Krause’s iPhone, shut the phone off remotely to conserve battery power, but have otherwise been unwilling to help in the search and rescue mission, according to Krause’s niece, Allison Bollman of Warsaw.
The first search flight covered the first 40 nautical miles of Krause’s flight path to the island of Tomé, located off of the west coast of Africa, and the last nine miles out from where contact with his plane was lost. Also searched was the coastline area and an area near the airport where he was expected. No signs of the aircraft have been discovered.
Boats have also been assisting with the search.
The Friday following Krause’s disappearance, a second search flight was scheduled to focus more along the coast and inland areas. Again, the search came back unsuccessful as they found no floating debris. However, the emergency location transmitter was not activated, making it unlikely that Krause crashed and increasingly likely that he was forced to land in hostile territory.
Orange holds the Krause family’s best hope for finding him, but remains uncooperative.
The family is asking for support by encouraging people to use Twitter and tweet #findjerry with a link to www.findjerry.com to the Orange organization, @orange and @orangefoundation, and its board members: @BrunoMettling, @MarcRennard and @xaviercouture.
You can also show your support and keep updated on the search by a Facebook page set up to help find Jerry Krause.