Family tracks down, rescues man trapped in truck for 16 hours

SHAWNEE CO., Kan. (WIBW) - New details have emerged surrounding a missing man found alive in Shawnee County two days ago - how he survived overnight in icy waters, and how his family ultimately saved him.

Brandy Jensen knew something was wrong when her father-in-law hadn't come home as usual.

She reported him missing to the Shawnee County Sheriff's Office and waited - but Jensen soon noticed something interesting.

"I got on Facebook and for some reason I opened the nearby friends app, and that's when I saw his phone said seven miles away in Auburn," Jensen said.

She knew he was close - but when her friend Jessie Rouviere called again - deputies had no new updates other than where his phone was last pinged near 9300 Auburn road.

"They said they sent a unit out and they couldn't find him so they left," Rouviere said.

They took matters into their own hands and decided to walk along Auburn road - searching the area where his phone was last located.

"For some reason I happened to look over the bridge and all I could say is, 'Oh my God.' Jessie thought I had found his phone, but I found his truck," Jensen said.

Jensen's family says the man, Bruce Jensen, spent 16 hours trapped in his truck in water several inches deep.

They say had they not found him, he may have froze to death. Paramedics told them that had it not been for the warmth of his dog curled up in his lap, he may not have made it through the night.

"The sheriff that first showed up was amazing, he almost slid down the embankment to get to where Jessie and Bruce were. All the first responders that showed up were just amazing," Jensen said.

They're happy both Bruce and his red fox lab are alive and safe - but they wonder how they found him - and not the deputies that checked before them.

"We found him in less than 45 minutes, just walking the street. So I want to know if someone got out of their truck or their sheriff's vehicle and actually was on-foot looking for him," Jensen said.

Jensen wants to make sure all search protocol was followed throughout the search.

In response - the Sheriff's Office said in a release, “We are currently in the process of investigating this incident. We are reviewing both dispatch and patrol records to review the agency response and investigative steps taken to locate the missing individual. We have been in contact with the family and appreciate their frustration and concerns. We soon hope to understand exactly what transpired in this matter and have tasked supervisors with reviewing all available information. Our thoughts and prayers go out to individual involved and his family.“

Bruce is still in the hospital recovering, but his family says he is in stable condition.