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Search for missing man near Edness K. Wilkins State Park continues today

Ice forms on the North Platte River on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The search for a missing man in the area of Edness Kimball Wilkins State Park continues today, and the public is asked to avoid the area.

Search and Rescue operations began Thursday after Natrona County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a report of an unattended vehicle at EKW State Park, a news release states. When deputies arrived, they found a dog on a leash roaming nearby. The vehicle and dog’s owner was identified as 60-year-old Bruce Wayne Campbell.

In the area where the vehicle and dog were found, deputies saw a void in the ice with an exposed area of water, the release said. Investigators said it’s possible that Campbell fell through the ice of the North Platte River.

Natrona County Emergency Management personnel arrived on scene to launch a coordinated Search and Rescue operation, including resources from the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division, Search and Rescue personnel, and the Natrona County Fire Protection District. 

Campbell reportedly told his friends and family that he was going walking at EKW State Park on Thursday afternoon, a common practice for him. 

“His cell phone records indicate that he was last in that area yesterday afternoon; the cell phone is now turned off,” the release said. “At this point in our investigation, we do not believe foul play is involved.”

“We are not seeking volunteers at this time,” the NCSO added. “We greatly appreciate the support from our community; however it is crucial that those not involved in a first responder capacity avoid the area.”

“Search and Rescue operations to locate Mr. Campbell continue today in Edness Kimball Wilkins State Park. We’re still asking the public to please avoid the area to allow the search to continue safely and efficiently,” said Kiera Grogan, public information officer for the NCSO, on Saturday.

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