Missing Person Dave Schroeder of Onalaska, Wis.

The official search has been called off for an Onalaska, Wis., man who has been missing for a week, but members of his church are continuing the hunt for one of their worship leaders and musicians.

More than 100 people from official agencies and civilian volunteers have been involved this week in a ground, air and water search for 45-year-old Dave Schroeder, a diabetic who needs medication and has been missing since his family last saw him a week ago at their home on Brice Prairie.


“He hasn’t been found,” Pastor Steve Meyer of Journey Lutheran Church said after the sheriff’s office called off the ground search at 4 p.m. Friday. “They’ve exhausted the search area.”

That area covered hundreds of acres of fields, wooded areas and marshes, Meyer said.

Church members are shifting their focus to distributing search fliers.

Investigators checked bus stations and talked to Schroeder’s friends, relatives and co-workers to determine whether he might have left town, sheriff’s Capt. Mike Horstman said.

Disappearing like this is not typical behavior for Schroeder, his pastor said.

“This is a big mystery. There is nothing to indicate this radical behavior,” Meyer said.

“We don’t know whether this is intentional or if he became disoriented,” he said. “You don’t know if he was hitchhiking and got picked up by the wrong person.”

Schroeder, who has three sons ranging from elementary to college age, had been scheduled to lead services and play the guitar at
Sunday services, Meyer said.

Schroeder was last seen wearing a bright blue T-shirt, jeans and black shoes. He is about 6 feet tall and 300 pounds with graying black hair.

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