Metro-East News

Missing man found dead in water wearing waders

Assistant fire chief says hundreds of people are helping search for missing Columbia man

Columbia Assistant Fire Chief Jim Broshears says more than a hundred volunteers and multiple metro-east agencies have been searching for Marvin Mueller of Columbia after the elderly man wandered off his family's property.
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Columbia Assistant Fire Chief Jim Broshears says more than a hundred volunteers and multiple metro-east agencies have been searching for Marvin Mueller of Columbia after the elderly man wandered off his family's property.

Authorities found the body of a missing man Tuesday evening on his property in Coumbia.

Marvin Mueller, 71, had left his home at about 6:30 Tuesday morning. His body was found in the water at about 8 p.m. Tuesday, said Capt. Jim Lansing of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department.

His family told officers that it was Mueller’s habit to walk along the creek to check for debris and blockages, Lansing said.

“We believe it was just an accident,” Lansing said.

Mueller was wearing hip waders and his body was found submerged in the waterway, described as about 20 feet across and about 6 feet deep at that point. A dive team was called in after a searcher had found the man’s hat along the creek.

“I think what happened is he was checking (the creek) and slipped and fell in,” Lansing said, adding that waders filled with water would be exceptionally heavy.

Mueller’s wife, Elaine, told searchers that the couple were married 49 years and had three children.

Columbia Assistant Fire Chief Jim Broshears said the working farm was “a pretty large farm acreage-wise” and more than 150 volunteer and rescue workers were at the farm throughout the day.

Search teams looked around corn and wheat fields, wooded areas and waterways.

More than a hundred volunteers and multiple metro-east agencies have been searching for Marvin Mueller of Columbia, Illinois, after the 71-year-old man wandered off his family's property.

Mary Cooley: 618-239-2535; @MaryCooleyBND
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