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Final efforts from family of missing man

The family of a 22 year old man who fell into the Mississippi River near Ft. Madison last month is running out of options for finding their loved one.

Despite many searches, his body has never been found.

Now the family is turning to you for help.

KHQA's Jarod Wells visited with the family to find out what its doing to finally get some closure.

"It's been tough, it's been really tough," Ray Charles Dean's Stepfather Larry Sherrill Jr. said.

It's been more than a month since Ray Charles Dean, also known as R.C., fell through the ice on the Mississippi River.

Sherrill said, "We've been up here almost every day, walking up and down the river banks."

There's been plenty of rumors going around about what actually happened on February 7th, but no facts to back them up. Investigators found two sets of foot prints leading to where Dean is thought to have fallen through the ice, but only one returning track of footprints. Captain Bruce Gustafson of the Fort Madison Police Department says there is nothing that indicates foul play. He says until a body is found, this can only be treated as a missing person. So the search continues, but Dean's family is hoping for some help.

R.C.'s Aunt Dawn Dean said, "We're hoping to get local volunteers to help us in the aid of rescuing and recovering R.C. We've tried everything we can to get him out of the river, we've made phone calls, we've talked to people, the only thing we have left to do is go to the public for help."

21 volunteers have already come forward to lend their time and efforts to help search for R.C.'s body. Along with R.C.'s family they are planning to search from the banks of Fort Madison, where he could have fallen in, south to Keokuk. They hope to start next weekend.

Sherrill said, "we're hoping to find our son so we can give him a proper burial."

The family is already planning a funeral without R.C.'s body, but the already excellent volunteer response has given them hope they will not have to go through with that.

Robert Dean's Step Father says Iowa Governor Chet Culver has called him and said he is trying to get a proper search done on the river to find the body.

If you would like to volunteer you can call Dawn Dean 563-263-0162

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