Car stolen from Ruthven found in Little Sioux

Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Emergency responders huddled together as they formulated a plan Friday, after a deputy discovered a vehicle in the Little Sioux River. The car was found to be unoccupied and was reported stolen April 1 in the Ruthven area.
Photos by Seth Boyes

MILFORD No victims were discovered after emergency responders from a mix of five county and city departments responded to reports of a car in the Little Sioux River Friday afternoon. A deputy first noticed the vehicle at approximately 2:15 p.m. in the water south of the 225th Street bridge west of Milford. The deputy was unsure how long the vehicle had been in the river and whether it was occupied. A group of approximately 15 helped close down the eastbound lane of the bridge and began planning a course of action. The Arnolds Park Okoboji Dive Team was called to the bridge to investigate. The car was towed out of the river after authorities confirmed no one was inside the vehicle.

Authorities began by checking the area around the bridge. Only the top of the car's roof was visible among the ripples and swirls in a gentle curve of the Little Sioux. As the dive team prepared to enter the river, Dickinson County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Ehret prepared to launch the county's drone to aid in the effort.

"I'm really hoping we don't find anyone," Chief Deputy Tony Petersen said as the dive team checked their gear.

Only the top of the car's roof was visible among the ripples and swirls in a gentle curve of the Little Sioux.

Deputies closed the rural road as a precaution should anything be found just before the dive team entered the water.

But Petersen's hope was fulfilled. The divers found only a Kia beneath the water's surface. Authorities soon determined the Kia was reported stolen from the Ruthven area on April 1 this year. The Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office is investigating the theft.

The Dickinson County Sheriff's Office was assisted on the scene by the Milford Police Department, Iowa DNR, Milford Fire & Rescue, Arnolds Park-Okoboji dive team, Dickinson County Emergency Management and Bob's Auto Body & Tow.

As the dive team prepared to enter the river, Dickinson County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Ehret prepared to launch the county's drone to aid in the effort.
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