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Crews adding sonar unit in search of missing man

May 16, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Curtis LeClair, of Ethete, has been missing since about 2:30 a.m. Friday.

Thursday's continued search for Curtis LeClair, 62, of Ethete will include a robotic sonar unit out of Carbon County.

The man has been missing since about 2:30 a.m. Friday, when LeClair reportedly left the area of 532 Diversion Dam Road on foot. Officials have been looking for him since Saturday afternoon, focusing on nine miles of the Wyoming Canal between Diversion Dam and Pilot Butte Reservoir.

Fremont County Sheriff Skip Hornecker said he doesn't know whether LeClair actually fell into the canal, but "strong indications" have led investigators to that conclusion. The Bureau of Reclamation lowered water levels in the canal for two hours on Wednesday in an effort to decrease flows and possibly create a surge to loosen any trapped remains, but Hornecker said the decrease in flow did not produce positive results by the end of the day.

Sonar

The Carbon County sonar operations team arrived to help late Wednesday, Hornecker said.

"(They) will be previewing the canal to determine the best (and) most effective means of deploying the resource," Hornecker said in a Thursday morning press release. "We are hoping we can insert the sonar into the canal without difficulties and provide positive results before the end of the day."

He thanked the neighboring county for its assistance.

"I appreciate Carbon County sending the team up and offering this technical resource," Hornecker said, adding that the search effort has been supported by a number of local agencies as well.

Hornecker mentioned the Tribal Fish and Game Department, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wind River Police Department, all three of Fremont County's search and rescue units, the Bureau of Recreation, the Riverton Volunteer Fire Department, the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone business councils and the Midvale Irrigation District.

"This type of large support and response to a tragedy is typical in our county," Hornecker said. "We are really hoping, for the family's sake, that today's developments are positive."

According to reports, LeClair wear glasses and has gray hair. He was last seen wearing a white, long-sleeved shirt with blue stripes as well as boots and Wrangler jeans.

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