Israeli authorities on Monday expanded their search for a missing Platte County man to include tourist sites around the country.
Herman Kuehn, 80, has been missing since early Friday afternoon, when he didn’t return to his tour group during a visit to a historic site at Beit She’an.
Micky Rosenfeld, national spokesman for the Israeli police, described efforts to find Kuehn as a “wide-scale search.”
Police and officers on horseback, backed up by helicopters, border guards and volunteers, continued looking for Kuehn, Rosenfeld said in a statement emailed to The Kansas City Star.
“There is also a mobile command and control center working 24/7 at the scene,” Rosenfeld said.
Another police commander told The Jerusalem Post that authorities are working on the theory that Kuehn may have boarded the wrong tour bus, bound for another destination.
“We’ve widened the search to other areas, including Tiberius, Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and other tourist attraction centers,” the commander told the Post.
Kuehn’s wife, Mary, accompanied him on the trip but is safe.
His family in the United States, which has asked for privacy, issued a statement late Monday:
“The entire family would like to express sincere thanks for all the prayers and concerns for our loved one. If anyone knows of individuals that may have information regarding this disappearance or know someone who may have been in the area of Beit She’an Israel since the 25th of this month and think they may have seen something they would like to report, please contact their local authorities or the Beit She’an police department directly. Thank you all and to all involved in our search.”
The family also has asked for help from Missouri’s U.S. senators, the office of U.S. Rep. Sam Graves and the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.
Kuehn was on a tour being led by two professors, including Mike Graves, who teaches at the St. Paul School of Theology.
In an interview with the Post, Graves said Kuehn was in generally good health but still suffered from an old accident that occasionally left him confused.
Graves also discounted an earlier police report that Kuehn had suffered a stroke, “although his symptoms would resemble that,” he told the Post.
“Bottom line, he may not approach people for help.”