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No Sign Of Missing Mich. Man After Aerial Search Of Missouri Forest

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Fred Byrne (Handout photo)

Fred Byrne (Handout photo)

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BIG RAPIDS (WWJ/AP) - Authorities say an aerial search of Mark Twain National Forest in southern Missouri didn’t find a missing Michigan man whose car was discovered earlier in the remote area.

Forty-nine-year-old Fred Byrne of Big Rapids has been missing since Feb. 12, when he dropped off his son at Hope College in Holland, Mich., and visited his mother. Authorities said Byrne mentioned that he planned to stop at a mall to buy a Valentine’s Day gift for his wife before returning home, but he never made it home.

Police in Big Rapids say searches by air and ground, including using tracking dogs, have been unsuccessful. More efforts are planned by police in Missouri to find Byrne or uncover leads.

Byrne’s Chevy Malibu was found Feb. 14 parked along a forest service road near Van Buren, Mo., which is about 160 miles southwest of St. Louis and roughly 560 miles from where he was last seen. Big Rapids police said Byrne’s wallet and keys were in the car.

Police say Byrne’s vehicle was brought back and processed by the Michigan State Police Crime Lab, although preliminary findings didn’t produce any new leads in the case.

Byrne is described as 6’3″ and 290 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a dark brown Carhartt style jacket, blue jeans and a ball cap.

This map represents the shortest travel and most likely route taken from where Fred Byrne was last seen in Michigan, to where his car was found in Missouri.

Police say this map represents the shortest travel and most likely route taken from where Fred Byrne was last seen in Michigan, to where his car was found in Missouri.

The Big Rapids Public Safety Department released a map with a possible route from Michigan to Missouri that may have been used in hopes that anyone along the way may have some information and will come forward.

Anyone with information on Byrne’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety at 231-796-4811 or 231-527-0005.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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