Apr 26, 2013

Why aren't the missing kayakers considered "missing?"

Nobody has found either one of the missing kayakers in the lake after authorities and others have searched the entire area. There's no proof of them being in the lake. Why aren't authorities treating this as a missing persons case and distributing their information to other cities and states? Kristy in Sandusky

**UPDATE** One of two kayakers found early Friday morning. Click here for more info.

Both Jonathan Francis, 30, and his 12-year-old daughter Viola are still missing nearly a month after last being see kayaking somewhere between their Crystal Rock home and the Edison Memorial Bridge.

Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth, who helped coordinate search efforts in the days following their disappearance, provided the following answer:

We have an ongoing missing persons investigation into the disappearance of Jonathan Francis and his daughter, Viola Francis.

They were reportedly last seen kayaking in the Sandusky Bay between Crystal Rock and Ohio 2 (by the) Edison Bridge on Saturday afternoon, April 6. Their abandoned kayaks were found washed up on the Ottawa County side of the Sandusky Bay on the morning of April 7, after they had been reported missing.

There has been no reported contact with them since.

We are receiving ongoing assistance in this search from the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft, the Danbury Township Police Department, the Port Clinton and Margaretta Township fire departments, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office in Michigan and numerous individuals who are checking the water and/or the shoreline.

We would love to receive information that Jonathan and Viola are safe and sound but, sadly, all of the verifiable information that we have received to date indicates that they may have met with tragedy while on the water.  We are in constant contact with various family members and have not received any specific information regarding other scenarios or specific locations where Jonathan or Viola may be.  

We ask for a phone call (to the Erie County Sheriff's Office Detective Bureau at 419-627-7553) or e-mail (sheriff@eriecounty.oh.gov) from anyone who has information pertaining to this case.   


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Just something to look into but could there is a custody battle going on with the daughter? The bodies should have shown up by now.

sandtown born a...

Usually about a month and the lake/bay will give them back if they are in the water

Eph 2 8-10



I think someone may have asked this before but I don't remember if there was ever an answer. Was his car ever found at the scene? That would be a big indicator to me anyway of something being amiss with the situation. Personally I hope he did take her and run with her. At least that way - as bad as that is - at least they're both safe somewhere.


Dad had custody. The News Messenger is reporting a body being recovered right now unidentified


I saw a helicopter flying overhead a while ago and wondered what was up. Just thought maybe they were coming into the hospital. Still holding out hope that they've run off somewhere but I guess we'll have to wait and see

Hoss McGee

They found her a couple hours ago I guess. Heard it from a very reliable source.


Both have been found. A sad day.