WASECA, Minn. (KTTC)--A small plane flown by Waseca native, Jerry Krause, disappeared off the coast of Africa on April 7. Krause has been living and working in Africa as a missionary for the past 25 years, along with his wife and their three children.
"He knew from a young age--from the age of 7 he already knew he wanted to be involved in missions," said Sister-In-Law, Beth Krause of Waseca.
Searches for the missing pilot have yielded no clues in his disappearance. According to the family, Krause was flying back to his home in Bamako, Mali from South Africa in a Beech 1900C aircraft. He was last heard from as he flew near the island of Sao Tome and Principe. No wreckage has been found and no signals have be received from the plane's black box transponder, leaving Krause's family and friends to believe he may be alive and in need of help.
"The plane would've broken up pretty heavily and there's a lot of fishing in that area and somebody would've caught something in a net--nothing's been found," said brother Jeremy Krause of Stewartville.
"He's a good pilot," said family friend and experienced pilot, Maynard Stensrud. "He was very capable of handling a situation like this. A very level headed guy, a good manager."
The family says they've relied heavily on their faith, friends and the support of strangers from all over the world, even if only by prayer, to bring their brother home.
"As Christians, we know, whatever the outcome with Jerry is a win-win situation for us," said Beth Krause. "We just want closure as a family. We want to find something, some clue, that can give us some closure."
The family has launched a multifaceted campaign to bring Jerry home. They've lobbied for officials in the U.S. and in Africa, launched a website and have started raising funds to go towards their search efforts, which includes a $5,000 reward for information. A missing person's report has been filed and military personnel have begun investigating the situation. Meanwhile, family and friends in Minnesota are anxiously awaiting any clues as to their loved one's mysterious disappearance.
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