Search continues for missing Michigan man by helicopter

Fred Byrne (Source: WWBT)
Fred Byrne (Source: WWBT)
Fred Byrne (Source: WWBT)
Fred Byrne (Source: WWBT)

CARTER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Authorities say a car belonging to a 49-year-old Michigan man missing since dropping his son off at college has been found in Carter County, Missouri.

Police in Big Rapids, Mich., say Fred Byrne's Chevy Malibu was found Thursday outside Mark Twain National Forest near Van Buren, Mo.

According to Carter County Sheriff Rick Stephens, a Missouri Highway Patrol helicopter was used on Tuesday to search, but there was no sign of Fred Byrne.

He said deputies searched around the area of the vehicle but had not found anything new at this point.

Sheriff Stephens said they planned on bringing out some K-9s early Sunday morning to search in the area of where Byrne's car was found.

A woman called the Carter County Sheriff's Office on Feb. 14 at 2:22 p.m. to report a vehicle parked off a forest service road that had been there for a couple of days.

After a license plate check, deputies found the vehicle was associated with an endangered missing person from Michigan.

That's roughly a 560-mile drive from where he was last seen. Police say Byrne's wallet and keys were in the car.

Sheriff's deputies working with the National Forest Service searched the vehicle and area and saw no sign of foul play.

There were no signs of the driver or evidence of his whereabouts in the surrounding area of the vehicle.

Byrne was last reported seen Tuesday, when he dropped his son at Hope College in Holland, Mich., and visited his mother. Officials have said Byrne mentioned plans to stop at a mall to buy a Valentine's Day gift for his wife before returning home.

Members of the National Forest Service, Missouri Highway Patrol, National Parks Service, and Carter County Sheriff's Office resumed the search on Friday.

The Carter County Sheriff's Office and investigators in Michigan are working together.

Copyright 2013 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.