Update: no sign of missing woman/child after search of Council Bluffs lake


May 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in western Iowa are now helping with the search for a missing woman and one of her children from eastern Nebraska. The last anyone heard from 41-year-old Charlotte Schilling and her 11-year-old son Owen was last Thursday when Schilling drove to her son’s school and picked him at 10 a.m. The elementary school is located in Plattsmouth, a town on the Missouri River about 20 miles south of Omaha. Plattsmouth Police Chief Steve Rathman says, so far, there no evidence of foul play or suspicious activity.

“It is a mystery at this point,” Rathman says. “Hopefully, with the agencies partnering together, we can get an answer for the family real soon.” Schilling’s husband and their 20-year-old daughter say the situation is “very out of character,” but police say there’s no evidence of a crime. Charlotte’s car was located Friday at Lake Manawa, just south of Council Bluffs. Schilling had been known to fish in the lake. Rathman says Council Bluffs police searched the land surrounding the lake this (Monday) morning.

“In addition, I had the Plattsmouth Water Rescue go down with their boat and sonar equipment and get out on the lake and check in the lake to see if there was any evidence of suspicious activity or foul play. Both of those searches came back negative,” Rathman says. Schilling’s cell phone and wallet were found in the car’s trunk. Rathman says, right now, investigators have few leads.

“We have investigators out doing follow up interviews. We’re looking for any surveillance videos we can find from gas stations, restaurants or fast food places that the mother and son may have visited so we can get a timeline as to when the last time they were seen and where they were at,” Rathman said.

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)