Crews On Recovery Mission For Dad Missing Since Boat Trip

UPDATED | March 8, 2017 11:53 AM

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DENTON COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – Search crews have returned to Denton Creek to continue looking for a missing North Texas father, in what they are now calling a recovery mission.

Matthew Meinert and his young son went missing on Monday, near Grapevine Lake. Their boat was found beached that same evening.

According to investigators, Meinert and his 2-year-old son, Oliver, took cell phone pictures shortly before heading out to go fishing Monday.

Search crews located Oliver early Tuesday morning. The little boy wandered out of the woods near Grapevine Lake, barefoot and alone with no life vest.

Even before Oliver was found, an intense search had been taking place. Rescuers have hunted for the pair on the ground, by boat and air. About 20 people are assisting with the search today, scaled down from about 50 people on Tuesday.

Well before sunlight this morning, Johnson County Emergency Management and members of the North Texas UAS Response Team had drones in the air looking for Meinert in the Flower Mound area. Officials said that there is no trace of him on the ground.

“At this point, we believe that he is somewhere in the creek. We’ve exhausted a lot of the area on the land around the creek,” said Brandon Barth with the Flower Mound Fire Department.

Many people have asked if they can help, but Barth wants volunteers to stay away. Plenty of trained individuals are on the case and other people could make the search efforts more difficult.

Before the toddler walked up to search crews, the only sign of the father and son was their empty boat.

Local residents say they’re amazed the little boy survived overnight on his own. The terrain in that area is dangerous, full of snakes and other wildlife.

Keller resident Kelly Jones said, “Even at my age it’s scary. I couldn’t imagine a kid 2-years-old back there.”

Harvin Jones agreed saying, “You could hear the coyotes and they were yapping and hollering. So, I’m sure for that little guy it was pretty scary.”

Oliver had minor injuries and is expected to make a full recovery. He was released from Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth just before lunchtime on Wednesday.

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