The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 26, 2012

Search continues for missing Pittsburg, Kan., man

By Andra Bryan Stefanoni

PITTSBURG, Kan. — A Pittsburg man remains missing today after search-and-rescue teams looked for him on Saturday and Sunday at Wilderness Park, a popular outdoor recreation spot. The park remained closed to the public today as the investigation continues.

On Saturday, a person hiking at the park placed a 911 call to the Pittsburg Police Department with a report that an adult male had fallen into a strip pit there.

According to Pittsburg Police Lt. Detective Cris Hatcher, the man is Mateo Vincent Lorenzo, 22, 718 E. Eighth St. At 5-foot 8-inches and 215 pounds, he was last seen there wearing black pants and a black hooded sweatshirt.

The park, located at 907 W. McKay in Frontenac, is owned by the city of Pittsburg and operated by the Parks and Recreation Department. It is heavily wooded and is criss-crossed by more than four miles of hiking-biking trails. Formerly a mined land area, it also includes at least four strip mining pits.

“On Saturday we conducted a search there ourselves with the Frontenac Fire Rescue Department, but we were unsuccessful on locating anything,” Hatcher said.

On Sunday, the Newton County Rescue and Recovery Team responded to assist with the search, which began at 8:30 a.m. and stopped about 4:30 p.m. Their primary area of focus was the strip pit the caller reported him falling into, which Hatcher estimated to be 15 to 20 feet deep.

The department is not releasing any information on whether any signs of the man such as clothing or personal effects were found. The department also is not releasing the identity of the person who placed the 911 call or whether that person knew Lorenzo.

“We are weighing our options this morning, looking at alternative techniques and approaches we can take in order to come up with the solution,” Hatcher said.

Anyone with information related to the incident or the whereabouts of Lorenzo may report it to the police department at 620-231-1700.