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Missing Mich. man's car found in Missouri forest

AP Wire • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:13 PM

Fred Byrne, 49, of Big Rapids has been missing since Tuesday, when he dropped off his son at Hope College in Holland and visited his mother. Authorities said Byrne mentioned that he planned to stop at a mall to buy a Valentine's Day gift for his wife before returning home, but he never made it home.

His Chevy Malibu was found Thursday afternoon parked along a forest service road near Van Buren, Mo., which is about 160 miles southwest of St. Louis and roughly 560 miles from where he was last seen. Big Rapids police said Byrne's wallet and keys were in the car.

Carter County (Mo.) Sheriff Richard Stephens said a woman called his office Thursday afternoon to say the car had been parked on the road for "a couple days now." Deputies checked the license plates and confirmed it belongs to Byrne.

Deputies, Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers, and officials with the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service continued the search Friday, but they hadn't found any clues as to Byrne's whereabouts. Stephens said there were no signs of foul play.

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