PLATTSMOUTH – A weeks-long search for a missing Buccaneer Bay man has come to a sad ending.
Cass County Sheriff William Brueggemann on Sept. 22 announced that the body of John J. Zarkowski, 72, had been found in his 2018 Chevy Tahoe in the Missouri River.
The vehicle, along with the body, were pulled out of the river around 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22, Brueggemann said.
An Omaha funeral home responded and transported the body to the funeral home per the family’s request, he added.
On Sept. 4, a family member reported Zarkowski was missing from his house and was reported to be driving his Tahoe.
Late on Sept. 20, a family member contacted Adventures With Purpose (AWP) that happened to be in Omaha, the sheriff said.
AWP is an organization that travels the country free of charge to help families and law enforcement find missing loved ones under water.
On Sept. 21, AWP and Cass County investigators searched numerous waterways both in the county and in Bellevue, Brueggemann said.
At around sunset, AWP located the Tahoe about 520 yards south of the Plattsmouth boat dock and about 30 feet off the river bank utilizing its specialized sonar system.
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The operation continued the following day with additional dive teams from the fire departments in Omaha and Yutan assisting, Brueggemann said.
The city of Plattsmouth provided a bulldozer and operator to clear a path and make a safe work zone for the responding towing company that pulled the vehicle and the body out of the river shortly after 1 p.m., Brueggemann said.
Plattsmouth fire/rescue provided support and boats to aid in the operation, he added.
“The PVFD supported this operation with our special operations truck 862, support truck 860, our gator and both Trevor 1 and Trevor 2 rescue boats,” the department said on its Facebook page.
Brueggemann added, “The Sheriff’s Office would like thank AWP, the dive teams from Omaha Fire Department and Yutan, the city of Plattsmouth, Plattsmouth Fire and Rescue, and Neff Towing out of Omaha in getting answers for John’s family so they can start the healing process.”
Neff Towing donated its services to the sheriff’s office out of respect for the Zarkowski family and AWP, Brueggemann said.