United Group Insurance

SW IA Dive Team aides in search for missing girl


May 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Southwest Iowa Dive Team were called to a lake just outside of Lincoln, Nebraska, Tuesday, to search for a 10-year old girl who has been missing since Mother’s Day. Red Oak Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Goldapp says the dive team, which is well respected for their efforts in water recoveries, received a call for assistance at Tuesday morning.

The team, which includes three members from Cass County, as well as personnel from Adams and Ringgold Counties, along with the Red Oak and Clarinda Fire Departments, traveled in separate vehicles and gathered in Nebraska City to coordinate their search efforts for Yessica Lizbet Leon-Beltran.

Although no one actually saw her enter the water, the girl is believed to have drowned in Pawnee Lake, which is about 12-miles west of Lincoln. The search for Yessica began Monday, and involved the use of sonar, divers and a Nebraska State Patrol helicopter. The initial search was called-off at sunset Monday, and resumed Tuesday.

The Southwest Iowa Dive Team arrived on the scene at around 9:30-a.m. Tuesday. Goldapp says they searched the 18-hundred acre, 30-to 60- foot deep lake for about 12-hours without success. He said they returned home at around midnight Tuesday.

Goldapp said the members of the Red Oak diving contingent are worn out, after having searched the lake, fighting a fire early Thursday morning, and attending the funeral today (Friday), for the wife of a former Red Oak fire fighter.