More than 24 hours after he was last seen, firefighters and police broke off the ground search near Cahokia for a missing hunter.
According to a spokesperson from the St. Clair County Sheriff’s department, searchers have switched the focus of their search to a canal that runs along a wooded area where the hunter planned to search for game Monday afternoon.
Authorities have identified the hunter, who has been missing since Monday night, as Christopher Stasiak of the 300 block of McBride Avenue in Dupo, according to the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department.
Stasiak was last seen at about 1 p.m. Monday when, while armed with a bow and several arrows, he was dropped off along Illinois 3 near Cahokia where he planned to hunt. He also had a backpack and a tree stand with him.
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Searchers at the scene say they have found no new signs of the missing man, who is described as 5-foot-9 and 272 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. He was dressed in cold weather camouflage gear and boots when he was last seen.
At about 11 a.m. Tuesday, a food truck from the Salvation Army showed up to support the search effort. The temperature at the search site dropped from 38 around sunrise to 27 by mid-morning with a stiff breeze further making efforts to locate Stasiak difficult.
Searchers included representatives from the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, Illinois Conservation Police, Prairie DuPont Fire Protection District, O’Fallon, Belleville, Fairview Heights fire departments, and several local police departments as far away as Highland.
Stasiak was expected to check in with family around 4 to 5 p.m. Monday, but they never heard from him. A missing person call came to police and firefighters at about 8 p.m. Monday.
Searchers used a helicopter with night vision technology overnight as well as a tracking dog to try to find the hunter.
Family members told searchers the man was well dressed to handle cold weather and that he frequently hunts in the area so he should be prepared for the elements. Temperatures overnight dipped down to the low 20s.