9.6 C
New York

Reward increased to $25K for info on missing Iowa trucker

Published:

Sac County officials have dramatically increased a cash reward for information leading to a missing Iowa trucker.

The reward for information on missing trucker David Schultz, 53, has increased from $2000 to $25,000 after weeks of exhaustive searching has turned up no new leads.

The increased cash award is coming from federal American Rescue Plan funding following a vote from the Sac County Board of Supervisors.

Schultz went missing under mysterious circumstances on November 21, 2023, near Sac City, Iowa, leaving behind his truck loaded with livestock as well as his wallet and cellphone.

Since Schultz went missing, authorities have organized multiple widespread search efforts, but little new information has been uncovered.

Sac County Attorney Ben Smith told the Sioux City Journal that the search is ongoing and taking a toll on local investigators, who feel enormous pressure to locate Schultz. “I know probably about six or seven officers and investigators that didn’t have a Thanksgiving. They were working on this the whole time. I was one of them. The same for Christmas, a lot of time that normally would be spent with families, was spent expending extra hours in searching, trying to find David,” Smith said.

See a full rundown from Sac County Sheriff Ken McClure on the details uncovered during the investigation below.

November 21, 2023, at 2:23 PM, Sarah Schultz after learning that her husband David Schultz had not dropped a load of pigs off at Wieckman’s hog buying station in Sac City as scheduled that day called the Lake View Police and reported her husband missing after she was unable to make contact with him by telephone. David Schultz left his home around 7:00 PM on the evening of November 20, 2023. Schultz was scheduled to pick up a load of pigs in the Eagle Grove area and transport the pigs to Sac City.

At 3:04 PM on November 21, 2023, a Sac County Secondary Road employee reported to the Sac County Sheriff’s Office that there was a semi-tractor-trailer parked on the traveled portion of the road at the intersection of D-15 (190th Street) and N-14 (Union Ave.). It was reported that this semi had been sitting there since early morning. Responding deputies determined that it was David Schultz’s. The semi was shut off, and inside deputies found David Schutlz’s wallet and cell phone. David Schultz’s driver’s license was in the wallet. Investigators would later learn that nothing was missing from the wallet.

Over the next several hours, law enforcement searched the immediate area on foot and with a K-9. The Sac County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the Iowa State Patrol airwing unit. An airplane was dispatched from Iowa City that was equipped with forward-looking infra-red (FLIR). A state patrol pilot flew the surrounding area and did not detect a heat signature that would be consistent with a person. For the next two days, law enforcement, area firefighters, and volunteers expanded the ground search on foot and with the use of drones. Nothing of significant value was located.

Detectives from the Sac County Sheriff’s Office and the Lake View Police traveled to the Eagle Grove area and with assistance from the Wright County Sheriff’s Office, located the hog confinement that Schultz was scheduled to load from. Load crew members were interviewed, and load records were obtained. Investigators learned that Schultz had picked up his load but had been late to arrive and he was the last truck loaded. Schultz left at about 10:50 PM.

Investigators obtained video footage of David Schultz at 11:15 PM on November 21, 2023, at the MM126 truck stop east of Fort Dodge on Hwy 20. Schultz is there for 16 minutes before leaving the truck stop. He is then seen on a DOT camera on Hwy 20 west of MM 126 truck stop heading west. This was the last time David Schultz was seen. Cell phone data obtained from David Schult’s phone corroborates this timeline.

Cell phone data also shows investigators that Schultz travels across Hwy to the intersection of Hwy 20 & Hwy 71 junction. There was not any usable video from the DOT camera at Hwy 4 and Hwy 20, and there is no video of Schultz stopping at the truck stop at Hwy 4. Cell phone shows Schultz’s phone arrives at Hwy 20 & 71 at about 12:18 AM. The data shows the phone traveling north to where the truck was found. Data suggests the truck may have been there since 12:40 AM on November 21, 2023.

Video surveillance from an area business was obtained near Wieckman Hog Buying station. This video shows that David Schultz never made it to Wieckman’s. Law enforcement has searched for additional video footage from Eagle Grove to Fort Dodge but has not located any.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation has assisted with a forensic search of David Schultz’s phone. They have also confirmed that David Schultz has not legally gone through a US Bordering Crossing. Information was received that a person named David Schultz had a one-way flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix, AZ on the late afternoon of November 21, 2023. Working with Minneapolis Airport Police and the airline, it was determined after viewing video footage of the gate and receiving ticketing information, that it was not the David Schultz that is missing. DCI continues to assist in the examination of other digital evidence that has been obtained or requested through a subpoena or search warrant.

Over 100-thousand acres have been searched by the United Cajun Navy and many volunteers. As of the time of this press release, David Schultz has not been located.

Agencies that have assisted the Sac County Sheriff’s Office, Lake View Police Dept., and Sac County Attorney’s Office are the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa State Patrol, Wright County Sheriff’s Office, and Minneapolis, MN Police.

Schultz is 5’11”, 180 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing Wrangler jeans, a Peterbilt hat, and cowboy boots.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Sac County Sheriff’s Office at 712-662-7127 or your local law enforcement agency.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Get the hottest daily trucking news

This Week in Trucking

Videos