PARKER’S WARRIORS: Family of missing boater continue searching nearly 5 months later

22-year-old Parker Kruse’s remains still have not been found
Kruse has been missing since he fell into the Wisconsin River during Fourth of July weekend.
Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 12:42 AM CST
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SPRING GREEN, Wis. (WMTV) - The family of Parker Kruse says they’re not giving up until they find him. The 22-year-old Kruse has been missing since he fell into the Wisconsin River during Fourth of July weekend. His family says he was helping another boater after a crash when he fell in. Nearly five months later, Parker’s remains still haven’t been found.

Jackie Johnson-Kruse and Joel Kruse are Parker’s parents. Up until November they were searching for their son every single day. Now that they have returned to work, they say they will continue searching on the days they’re off.

“We don’t give up and we won’t and I’m glad Parker’s warriors are helping us look for him,” said Johnson-Kruse.

Parker’s family says he was witty, hard working, and had a lot of friends. His mother wants people to remember him for his kind spirit and how he could light up a room.

In the beginning of the search the family says they had a lot of help but as time went on, their search parties became smaller and smaller. Johnson-Kruse says less than a week into the search local fire officials and the DNR told them there were no more resources they could provide. Finding Parker is now solely in the hands of those who loved him the most.

“Initially we didn’t have a boat and a local person let us use his boat. We have used cadaver dogs and mediums and other search and rescue agencies have helped but we’ve come up empty handed,” said Johnson-Kruse.

Parker’s father, Joel Kruse says no parent should ever have to go through this. “It just eats you up inside,” he said.

Parker Kruse and family
Parker Kruse and family(Jackie Johnson-Kruse)

The family is not giving up hope and continues to dig deep for the strength to help one another each day. Finding closure is the next step for this family and finding Parker remains crucial.

Parker’s family wants to keep his memory alive and are working on ways to honor him and ensure no other family goes through this kind of lingering pain. They say Parker was wearing a life vest at the time he went into the water but the current pulled him under, proving how dangerous the water can be.

As the search continues, the family is asking anyone who can help or has access to sonar equipment to join the Promise Parker page on Facebook.

Visitation services and a memorial service are set for Monday and Tuesday. The public is welcome Tuesday at 11am. Services will be held at New Heights Lutheran Church in Black Earth.

Click here to read Parker’s obituary.

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