|Updated: 2/20 10:15 am
||Published: 2/19 7:32 pm
While much of Grove is eagerly anticipating the Bassmaster Classic's arrival in town, GRDA Police Patrolman Scott Cox's thoughts are elsewhere.
“That's the last thing on my mind to be honest with you. The most important thing is actually getting this wrapped up and closure to the family. It's a long, drawn out process.”
Cox is talking about the search for missing boater Michael Chapman. On January 27th, police began searching for Chapman’s body after finding his boat abandoned and empty on Grand Lake. They've continued to search every day since.
“We're out on the boat right at daylight and we search shorelines, grid patterns, expand the search according to certain wind patterns,” Cox explained to FOX23.
The area where the GRDA Police is looking for Chapman's body is 10 square miles of water. They are not only using boats to aid in this search.
“Weather permitting, our helicopter flies everyday just this area to search to, so it's pretty comprehensive,” Justin Alberty with the GRDA said.
Police say they are dealing with many obstacles that have hindered their efforts.
“There are a lot of different factors involved. The water temp is a huge factor in this situation, obviously the area to search is a factor as well,” Cox said.
Neighboring fire departments are also lending their resources to look for Chapman, but so far no one has found anything.
GRDA Police hope to find Chapman's body before the Bassmaster Classic starts on Friday, but if they don’t Cox says the competitors arriving at the lake could end up being a blessing that helps end this search.
“It’s somewhat of good opportunity because you end up with a lot of extra sets of eyes looking, which helps us out quite a bit.”
GRAD Police have told FOX23 if a body is not recovered by the time the Bassmaster Classic starts, they will brief all the competitors about their search. They will tell them to contact police if they see anything out of the ordinary.