Thursday, May 15, 2008
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Lincoln teen missing on fishing trip

Search begun on Tuesday evening continues

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[May 15, 2008]  A teenager on a celebratory graduation fishing trip went missing on Tuesday morning.

Eighteen-year-old Billy Ray Eskew was given permission to go on the overnight fishing trip on Monday evening with three friends. He is a new graduate of Salt Creek Academy.

Eskew and three other young men made camp on Salt Creek on Monday evening. Their camp was about one-fourth mile east of Business Route 66, where the railroad crosses the creek between Madigan State Park and the Sportsmen's Club.

One of the boys woke at 7 on Tuesday morning and everyone, including Eskew, was there. When they woke at 10 a.m. Eskew was gone. Eskew had a job interview in town later, so they thought he might have gotten up and gone in for that.

He didn't show for the job interview. On Tuesday evening family and friends contacted local officials, and the Logan County Emergency Management Agency began a search of the creek area. The search had to be discontinued at 2 a.m.

Numerous agencies have joined the search of the muddy waters and surrounding grounds. Mutual aid was called for state and area resources to conduct a thorough search of the area. Illinois Emergency Management Agency supplied a helicopter. Sangamon County Emergency Management Agency joined the ground search. A special boat with side-searching capabilities has been used.

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Heavy weekend rains have complicated the search. No evidence has been found. The situation has been turned over to the Logan County Sheriff's Department as a missing person investigation.

Boat searches will continue daily at least to Sunday, according to Terry Storer, deputy director for the Logan County Emergency Management Agency.

Eskew is 6-feet-1-inch tall and weighs 200 pounds. He has short blondish-brown hair, a goatee and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing jeans, a red hooded coat with white sleeves, a tan Carhartt jacket and black boots.


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