Missing man may have fallen into open water on Lake Monona, police say

2013-01-22T19:40:00Z Missing man may have fallen into open water on Lake Monona, police saySANDY CULLEN | Wisconsin State Journal | scullen@madison.com | 608-252-6137 madison.com

A Kaukauna man who has been missing in Madison for a week may have walked onto the ice of Lake Monona and fallen into open water, police said Tuesday.

Charles Geurts, 26, an employee of Agri-Partners Co-op who was in Madison to attend a conference for work, was seen leaving the Sheraton Hotel, 706 John Nolen Drive, shortly after 2 a.m. Jan. 16, soon after he had returned from a night out with colleagues.

Geurts had been drinking, but his level of intoxication is not known, said South District Capt. Joe Balles.

A police dog found Geurts' scent on Waunona Way, where a man believed to be Geurts knocked on the patio door of a home about a half hour after he left the hotel, Balles said.

Residents of the home called 911 and last saw a man believed to be Geurts staggering down the street, Balles said.

The Sheraton can be seen across the lake from Waunona Way. The lake was frozen near the shoreline, but there was open water farther out the night Geurts was last seen, Balles said.

A search of the lake by the Dane County Sheriff's Office did not find evidence indicating Geurts had fallen through the ice or entered open water, Balles said.

Police suspended their search Saturday night after nearly 50 family members and friends of Geurts spent the day distributing fliers, he said.

"We've done everything we can do," Balles said. "It's just really sad."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Madison police at 266-4275.

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