Stroh hunter missing in Canada feared dead

William Oberkiser (Photo Courtesy: VOCM News)
William Oberkiser (Photo Courtesy: VOCM News)

STROH, Ind. (WANE) – What started as an annual hunting trip for a northeast Indiana man has turned into an international mystery. William Oberkiser, 65, has been missing since Sunday, October 9 after traveling to Canada. His family is beginning to fear the worst.

On October 5, William Oberkiser headed to Newfoundland, Canada. On a previous trip, the Stroh man shot a record-setting bear there. But his most recent trip was different.

Earl Oberkiser, William’s 86-year-old father, said his son took an eight-hour ferry ride to a hunting location on October 9. That was the last anyone has seen of him.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said a hunter in the area contacted authorities when he noticed William’s truck. It had been sitting in the same place for several days.

“When he left the truck, he left everything in it: His money, his hearing aides, and his rifle. He took a shotgun. He took two guns,” said Earl Oberkiser. “He locked the truck up, but it was stuck over a log and he couldn’t get it off. We think he went for help and got lost, and that’s all we know.”

Brian Oberkiser is the missing hunter’s son. He said his father had been to the hunting camp six times in the past and personally knew the guide stationed there.  William Oberkiser’s family said he never gets lost, claiming it’s an unlikely position for the experienced outdoorsman.

Family members are praying for the best. But they said as the days go by, the odds of finding William Oberkiser alive become more unlikely.

“I never expected it to happen to him. And then I keep thinking, did he suffer? Is he still suffering? Is he out there and can’t be found?” said Brian Oberkiser.

Earl Oberkiser simply hopes to get through the tragic circumstances, despite the cloud of questions surrounding what happened to his son.

“God knows where he’s at, but we don’t. So I hope God’s taking good care of him,” said Earl Oberkiser.

Brian Oberkiser and his sister Tanya Oberkiser drove to Detroit Monday morning to get emergency passports and head into Canada as soon as possible.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has been searching the area for days. Monday, it released this statement about the efforts:

“RCMP Police Service Dog and SAR team members will be making final repeat sweeps of the area where a person might likely travel if faced with similar challenges that Oberkiser faced at the time his vehicle got stuck.

These areas have already been searched but we want to review the immediate search area on higher ground.

We will review all search actions later today (October 17) to determine if there is anything else we can do.”

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