Parker Kruse’s mother feels sense of closure after discovery of her son’s remains

A parent’s love and Jackie Johnson-Kruse’s determination helped get her through almost one year of searching for her son Parker Kruse’s missing remains.
Published: Jun. 26, 2022 at 7:45 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A parent’s love and Jackie Johnson-Kruse’s determination helped get her through almost one year of searching for her son Parker Kruse’s missing remains.

”I’m just very thankful,” Johnson-Kruse said. ”As a mom it just gives you so much relief to know that most of him was found.”

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office said the family of a missing boater, 22-year-old Kruse, identified remains found in the Wisconsin River on Saturday.

Around 3:21 p.m., Grant County received a call from a group of canoers on the Wisconsin River.

According to the sheriff’s office, the group said they have been canoeing the river for several years and were familiar with the boating incident that left Parker Kruse missing since July 3, 2021. On that day, Kruse was swept under the current and never seen again.

While setting up camp for the night, the canoers believed they had possibly discovered Parker’s remains on a sand bar island called Steamboat Island.

The Blue River Fire Department was then dispatched to the scene, where they assisted the Sheriff’s and Coroner’s offices.

The remains were transported back to the shore, and the Kruse family determined that the remains were those of Parker.

“We don’t always find the person. It’s a lot of unanswered questions so this is a huge win for us,” cadaver dog handler Alyssa Palmer said. “Because a lot of people did not think that we would ever find him or that he would ever be found from this river. All of us have been determined to keep trying to find anything.”

Palmer has helped Johnson-Kruse with the search since the beginning, and she said it’s a miracle brought on by Johnson-Kruse’s determination.

Johnson-Kruse said determination is something she shared with her son; he would never give up, so neither could she.

“You just love your children so much that you’ll do whatever,” Johnson-Kruse said. “You’ll go to the ends of the earth. Ends of the river looking for him.”

Johnson-Kruse isn’t sure how much longer she’ll look for the rest of Parker’s remains, and she plans to take it day by day.

A Facebook group dedicated to finding Parker that posts updates about the search said their “prayers finally came true [when] most of Parker’s Remains were found” and that they now have peace.

Johnson-Kruse also wants to thank anyone who helped search for her son and everyone who shared his story.

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