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Search goes on for missing Watertown man
Aug 27, 2012 12:00 am
It's been more than two weeks since David Riemens vanished and still no trace of him has been found.
Riemens, 60, an artist and stone mason from Watertown, disappeared Wednesday, Aug. 8, shortly after noon when he went to meet a man about a job. His vehicle was found in the parking lot of the Dollar General Store in Watertown, but no sign of Riemens, or the man he may have been meeting about a stone mason job, have been found.
Riemens' friends and family suspect that Riemens got into another vehicle at the Watertown Dollar General Store and left with another person or persons. A search dog seemed to confirm this theory last Thursday by picking up Riemens' scent in the driver's seat of his vehicle and following it eight feet away where it faded, leading searchers to think Riemens did get into another vehicle.
Jim Riemens and Wanda Bush, his siblings, were in Wilson County for a week desperately trying to find their brother, but they were forced to return to Michigan with no word on their brother's whereabouts. Jim said he has a gut feeling his brother is still alive.
"We need to keep it in front of people," Jim said from Michigan. It feels like he's still with us, but I don't have proof either way."
The Wilson County Sheriff's Department is still investigating the case, but so far have come up empty despite an extensive search. The department has also consulted with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe acknowledged that with every day that passes, the situation looks more grim. He added that, by all accounts Riemens wouldn't just leave without telling someone.
Dr. Donald Nuessle and his wife, Laura are leading the efforts to find their friend.
"We just sitting on the porch talking to someone from the WCSD and someone from the TBI," Donald said Thursday.
He has been doing more than just talking, he has been taking part in the search himself looking for a foundation near a big barn which was now Reimens described the site to him before his disappearance.
"I've been up in an airplane four times trying to find the job site David talked about from the air," he explained. "I've been unsuccessful. I was hoping the TBI might be able to bring their aerial abilities to bear."
He noted that he has been paying for the gas for planes supplied by volunteer pilots and has not only looked in Wilson County, but in Cannon, Rutherford, Smith and DeKalb counties as well.
Nuessle said that if David went to a job site it couldn't be very far from Watertown, since he had gone to the site before to collect old bricks and came back promptly.
"It can't be far because he was able to leave our farm and return in about an hour's time," he said. "None of the roads are 60 mph around here and David didn't even drive the speed limit. So it must be around 15 miles from here."
But what seems like a short distance, covers a lot of ground.
"Within a 10 mile radius, there's 314 square miles," he added.
His friends and family have a Facebook page "David Riemens is Missing" that is constantly updated about the case and has information about how the public can contribute to the fund set up to aid in the search for Riemens.
Anyone who saw David at the store, in a vehicle that day or who has any idea who he was meeting, is asked to call the Wilson County Sheriff's Department at 615-444-1412, the Watertown Police Department at 615-237-3326 or a hotline at 615-237-9099. Any bit of information could be what leads to his recovery.
"I still side with it being an innocent accident," Nuessle said. "But as time goes on you have to wonder if it's something more foul."
He is mystified about why anyone would want to hurt his friend if it is, indeed, a case of foul play.
"David wasn't into anything - he wasn't wealthy, he wasn't a drug addict or an alcoholic and he didn't have mental issues," he noted.
As always, the people left behind when someone disappears start to second guess every memory hoping to remember some overlooked clue.
"I can't help but think if I could just think of something David told me, I might have a direction," Nuessle said. "Part of my fear is that word still hasn't spread far enough. With so much time having elapsed, and no one else being reported missing, the idea of foul play creeps in. I hate to imagine it might be possible."
The doctor added that he would pay for the gas for anyone with a plane who would volunteer for the search. Any pilot who would like to help should call the hotline number above and ask for him.
Staff writer Mary Hinds may be reached at 444-3952, ext. 45 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org