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Search continues for missing paraglider in Washington

EDITOR'S NOTE: The story was updated to reflect the correct location.

WASHINGTON, Mo. (KMIZ)

A group of Mid-Missouri rescue divers are looking for a missing paraglider.

On Oct. 26, Kenny Loudermilk went paragliding with a friend near Highway 47 and the Missouri River in Washington. It would be the last time he was seen. 

"It was a shock there I felt like we were living in a dream that we couldn't wake up from,” Loudermilk’s brother-in-law Kevin Baker said. “It went from that moment of shock to ‘How do we find him?’"

Loudermilk had a ton of experience paragliding.

"This man was an expert within been doing it a very long time and never had an incident," Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman said.

“Well, I know that he was always safe and that he made sure everything was good before he went on went into his flight,” Loudermilk’s daughter, Kylie, said.

Kylie lost her mother when she was 3 years old. Now, at 15, she faces the possibility of being without a father.

"(It feels like) that dad is here. He's like right here with us and watching us and he would want me to stay strong,” she said.

That is what makes finding Kenny so important for Heitman.

"She has actually been my motivation to keep going back," Heitman said.

For Kevin Baker, finding his brother-in-law is important for several reasons.

“You have the emotional side of the family and for Kylie to bring him home to the family to have closure to put them in his rightful burial place,” Baker said. “I think as we think about 35 days later, we've gotten unfortunately comfortable with not having a good result at the end of the day.”

Heitman is hopeful that they can learn more about what actually happened.

"There's chance he had a GoPro (camera) on when he went in and and hopefully we can recover that and maybe see more what happened,” he said.

A GoFundMe fundraiser was set up to raise money for the search for Kenny, along with to support his daughter. A Facebook page was also set up to help with search efforts.

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Chris Bryant

Chris joined ABC17 in April of 2021 as Chief Photographer.
A multi-award-winning photographer whose career has spanned over 20 years in broadcasting from television and radio and included over 60 individual awards for photography, reporting, and editing.
Chris has covered stories from hurricanes to the Super Bowl, the Kansas City Royals’ two World Series runs and stories from Florida to Utah and Arizona.
Chris is married and a father of four.

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