More than one hundred rescue workers and volunteers go home disappointed Sunday evening after an eight-hour search comes up empty. They were hunting for clues to track down 49-year old Robert Bunger. Illinois State Police say he crashed his pickup truck into a bean field on Hoisington road around 6:00 Saturday morning. Bunger called his family to tell them he was injured and needed help. But he was not on the scene when that help arrived.
"By the time family members and state police arrived, he was not here and he has not been heard or seen since," says Illinois State Police Lieutenant Michael Van Vleet.
Right now investigators do not know how or why Bunger disappeared. But this weekend they used all possible resources including an airplane with heat-sensing capability to track him down. Sheriff's, fire and police departments from all over the area are lending help. But many of the searchers are just Bunger's friends and family.
"Somebody called us, we came here then next thing you know there's 60 people here," says Bunger's friend Chris Keller.
Starting at the crash site and then fanning out, determined searches covered close to 200 acres, combing the ground, looking for any sign of the lost man.
Rescue workers are done searching the site, unless new information comes up. But they are now following investigative leads and friends say they won't quit hunting any time soon.
Dereck Rollie says, "If anybody knows where he is, has heard from him or seen him, just let us know. He's one of our dearest friends and we just want him back."
If you have any information about Bunger's whereabouts, please call the Illinois State Police at 815-239-1152 or Winnebago County Crimestoppers at 1-800-621-2274.