Sunday dozens of volunteers organized by the ‘Missing You Foundation’ were searching Kalamazoo County for two men they believe are dead, 53-year-old Paul Atchley and 38-year-old Michael VanBuskirk of Battle Creek. The foundation is a nonprofit group that assists families and law enforcement with missing person cases.
"My whole goal is to find them for a loved one,” Jamie Jones of the Missing You Foundation said. “Like Michael VanBuskirk, he's got three children that are missing their father."
The search stems from a bizarre two-car accident that’s now a major investigation. The accident happened in Allegan County on September 2nd and involved 41-year-old Harold Ordway of Battle Creek. When both vehicles stopped, witnesses noticed a lot of blood and a bloody mattress in the bed of Ordway's pickup truck. He was arrested on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and is being held in the Allegan County Jail on $500,000 dollars bond.
Shortly after the crash, Paul Atchley was reported missing. The Barry County Sheriff’s Office tells FOX 17 they believe Atchley had been sleeping in the back of Ordway's pickup truck prior to the accident. Then a second man went missing, Michael VanBuskirk, who was also familiar with Ordway.
Sunday volunteers scoured thousands of acres of the Fort Custer Recreation Area in Kalamazoo County in hopes of finding the two men.
"This area was an area that Mr. Ordway had been familiar with,” Jones said. “You have to start somewhere."
Close to 10 teams of people, each with one cadaver dog searched the woods for seven hours.
"You could check the whole woods, but some of the areas if you can't even get into," Sheila Eldridge of Mid-Michigan Working Dogs said. "You only have a limited time to check things out."
"We found a couple of items of clothing that we're checking out,” Jones said. “The dogs showed some interest in part of the river that we're going to be doing some more boating work on in the weeks to follow."
Jamie says he also plans on organizing another search group to hit the same area next week.