Wisconsin, Michigan Guard Assist in Search for Missing Boy

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2007 - Two Wisconsin National Guard helicopters and another chopper from the Michigan Guard have been assisting in the search for a Wood County, Wis., boy missing since June 14, a Wisconsin Guard official said today.

Two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters have flown daytime search missions June 15, 16 and 17, and during several hours yesterday, Wisconsin National Guard spokeswoman Jackie Guthrie said during a phone interview with American Forces Press Service.

The Michigan National Guard provided an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter to search at night, Guthrie said.

Airborne equipment that seeks out body heat hasn't yet detected 7-year-old Benjamin Heil, who lives in the town of Saratoga, said Keith Tveit, fire service coordinator for the state of Wisconsin's emergency management office.

"We're currently still operating under the premise that this is a rescue operation," Tveit said.

Hundreds of people continue to comb the area in search of the missing boy, Tveit said. A fixed-wing Civil Air Patrol aircraft also is participating in the search for Heil.

"We have a land search with volunteers. We also have two people out on horseback," Tveit said, adding there's also been a search on and along the Wisconsin River that flows through the area.

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