Ontonagon Sheriff thanks community for help with search

Western UP

ONTONAGON COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – Ontonagon police reported that Monday afternoon the body of missing 17-year-old Cameron Besonen was found.

Besonen disappeared into the forest behind his home on Friday evening. The community came together and along with law enforcement and searched meticulously for the teen for days.

Ontonagon Sheriff Dale Rantala said, “Thank you to everyone that showed up. It was overwhelming the number of people that showed up and the volunteers and all the agents.”

Every type of search procedure available to the Sheriff’s department was utilized.

“There was such a community outpouring..There were like 413 volunteers. We decided to try using them. we called it a line search where there was an officer with the community. We walked in straight-lined grids trying to cut out areas.” Rantala said, “It was air, ground, I would say sea if there was water. Actually, we put a canoe in the river just to knock that out too.” Rantala said “Basically, anything you could imagine we were doing. We had helicopters, we had airplanes for a while, we had foot traffic, dogs. Basically, we pulled out all the stops to find him, as everyone knows we did find him but it wasn’t in time.”

Searching for missing people in the woods is an intense and challenging feat.

“A huge percentage of the time we want you to stay out of the woods if he’s missing, cause we’re going to get a dog and if there’s a mess of people in the woods, one the tracks could get covered and the dogs are smelling ten people instead of one,” Rantala said.

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