Underwater Search for Missing Teen Suspended

By: Naomi Pescovitz Email
By: Naomi Pescovitz Email
The underwater search was called off Saturday for Kolten Range, a 15-year-old boy who went missing at Tuttle Creek Lake after he got out of a canoe he was in with two other teens. According to Riley County Police, water searches have ended. Crews will monitor the lake

Rescue crews searching for missing teenager in Tuttle Creek Lake. Photography by Josh Mabry, WIBW-TV.

Manhattan, KS (WIBW)-The under water search was called off Saturday for Kolten Range, a 15-year-old boy who went missing at Tuttle Creek Lake after he got out of a canoe he was in with two other teens. According to Riley County Police, water searches have ended. The Corps of Engineers will monitor the lake's shorelines for the next 10 days.

Range went missing November 15.

A search and dive team from Lee's Summit, MO started searching Tuttle Creek Lake early Friday morning. On Saturday morning, they found a target and sent divers to determine if it was Range's body. It was not.

Search efforts were postponed Thursday due to high winds.

Nothing was found during the Wednesday evening search.

The Lee's Summit team started searching Tuttle Creek Lake at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Using advanced sonar and prepared with divers, the team was on the water until 9 p.m. when they had to stop due to high winds. The search will not continue Thursday because of cold temperatures and wind, but they do expect to be back on the water early Friday morning.

The Lee's Summit team is made up of volunteers and can dive in the dark if they find an adequate target. They have advanced sonar equipment that can perform a 360 degree search at the bottom of the lake.

The Corps of Engineers also had sonar boats on the water Wednesday.

On Tuesday, searched boats equipped with sonar technology entered the water at around 7 a.m..

The search covers a one and a half square mile area of the lake. The Riley County Emergency Management Agency is in control of the incident, with the Corps of Engineers leading the search on the water.

With the help of search dogs and sonar, the search team has identified a triangle-shaped area of the lake where they believe Kolten may be.

Wind and cold temperatures made the search difficult and almost put the search on hold for the day, Monday.

Two divers in boats went out onto the lake, but they did not enter the water due to the weather. Officials at the scene said they could send divers into the water as early as Tuesday.

The Riley County Police Department says they were called to Tuttle Creek Lake near the Blue River Hills area in reference to a possible drowning Saturday afternoon.

According to Lt. Kurt Moldrup with Riley County Police, Range and two other teens had found the canoe along the shore of the Lake and decided to take it on the water without paddles. Authorities report that the teens had trouble navigating the canoe. Authorities say Range decided it would be safer to get out of the canoe and swim, rather than try to navigate it back to shore.

Range got into the water, while the other teens stayed in the canoe, getting it back to the shore. Range did not make it back. The teens saw where Range was in the water and went to a nearby farm house to get help. When they returned Range could not be found.

Kolten Range is a 15-year-old from Leonardville. He attends Riley County High School and as a freshmen has played football there.

Sunday morning students and some staff of the high school met to talk about Range and discuss the situation.

"Just lots of hugs, tears, and talk about Kolten," Riley County Principal Eric Swanson commented on the morning gathering.


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