Archive for Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Three-week-old missing-person case ends happily

July 28, 2010, 9:09 p.m.

Updated: July 29, 2010, 10:37 a.m.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Johnson Drive and Barker

A Lenexa man who disappeared in early July has been found alive, according to the Lenexa Police Department.

Larry Schnackenberg, 58, was found walking along a trail near Johnson Drive and Barker by a Johnson County park patrol officer at approximately 2:20 p.m. on Wednesday, according to a press release from the Lenexa Police Department.

Park officer Rick Reynolds, who has known the Schnackenberg family for years, was on routine patrol Wednesday when he found a shirtless Schnackenberg covered in insect bites on the trail. Reynolds said Schnackenberg appeared to be disoriented and dehydrated.

"I said, 'Boy! Larry! This is a good day!'" Reynolds told KMBC-TV. "(He was) real concerned about his family and how they were doing. I told him they were OK and would be a lot better now that they found him."

Schnackenberg was taken to Shawnee Mission Medical Center, where his family was reunited with him Wednesday evening. The hospital said he was in good condition Thursday.

“The Schnackenberg family and the Lenexa Police Department would like to thank the community for the heartfelt concerns and efforts to locate Mr. Schnackenberg. We are happy to inform you of this positive outcome. At this time, the family is attending to Larry’s medical needs. During this time of reunion please respect their privacy,” Master Police Officer Dan Friesen said.

Schnackenberg went missing on July 8 after leaving home to run errands. His unlocked SUV was discovered the same evening in Shawnee Mission Park with his ID, wallet, keys and cell phone inside.

While Schnackenberg was missing, his daughter, Kristen Schnackenberg, and her fiance, D.J. Schepker, postponed their wedding, which was supposed to take place on July 17. Reynolds said Schnackenberg told him he was disappointed he had missed the wedding.

Authorities believe the Hallmark Cards retiree had been taking shelter staying in a shack in the sprawling park. Reynolds said Schnackenberg told him he used plastic bags during the heavy rains that fell while he was in the park. But Reynolds got few other details.

"When I found him, I talked about how happy his family was going to be," he said. "What he was doing and what had transpired for the 20 days he was out here, I don't know."

Schnackenberg's disappearance led to the creation of the Twitter account @Looking4Larry and a Facebook page with a combined following of nearly 11,000 people.

At this point, it does not appear a crime was committed, said Lenexa police spokesman Officer Dan Friesen.

"There are a lot of unanswered questions," Friesen told The Kansas City Star. "Hopefully we'll get the answers to all the questions, but you just never know."


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