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Two men missing in Pawnee County for weeks have returned home

Posted at 6:19 PM, Aug 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-08 20:16:48-04


*Update* Jayton and Richard have both returned home safe.


An uncle and his nephew have been missing since July 26 after going on a fishing trip.

Jayton Zimmerman, 16, and Richard Garner were last seen on Highway 64 leaving Cleveland. The two were supposed to be gone for just a few hours.

Wendy Zimmerman, Jayton Zimmerman's mother, and Richard Garner's sister have been searching ever since.

"Wretched and lonely," Wendy Zimmerman said she feels. "I miss them and I need them and my thoughts go off on horrible things and I know that's probably normal."

The pair was last seen driving in a 2003 silver Chevy Avalanche with the license plate GNN-690.

"He just wouldn't do this on purpose," Wendy Zimmerman said about her brother.

She said she filed a missing person report with the Pawnee County Sheriff's Office and they have not taken it seriously.

This mother has continued posting fliers around town and searching other places where she knows her son likes to go, like Frog Rock near Keystone Lake.

She said she ended up finding medical supplies, clothing, a suitcase, and fishing equipment that she believes belongs to her missing family members.

Wendy Zimmerman said she called PCSO out to the remote location to look at what she found.

"He stated he had a rodeo he needed to go to," Wendy Zimmerman said of the responding deputy. "He took pictures of things and said it was out of his county and not in his jurisdiction and there was no evidence of foul play."

The mother was hopeful this would lead to the men and wanted the sheriff's office to take it seriously.

PCSO told us over the phone on Monday they were too busy writing reports to do an interview with us. We shared with them the claims made by Wendy Zimmerman and they said to "go ahead and run the story if that is what we wanted to do."

"They seem to be more interested in finding a crime scene or a recovery of bodies or something like that than they are to find them before the rain hits," Wendy Zimmerman said.

She said she wished the sheriff's office would reach out to a state organization for help if they are short-staffed.

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