Officials Search Itasca Co. for Evidence of Man Missing Since 1990

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: May 19, 2018 11:07 PM

GRAND RAPIDS- The Minnesota community still has hope in finding Christopher Kerze who's been missing for almost 30 years. The first search of the year was done in Grand Rapids Saturday by several agencies.

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Authorities have been searching for years now. A van Kerze drove was last seen in the Laurentian Divide wayside rest on Highway 38 in 1990.

"We always wish for hope too, making sure that we do get closure and we do close the case and that we give the family some type of relief," Mark Greiner, the Itasca County Sheriff's Office investigator, said.

When Christopher left his home in Eagan on April 20, 1990, he took the family van. Days later, the van was found, but Christopher hasn't been found.

"We still love him. And I'm still looking for him. I want to open the door and say Mom, and say Chris, and just give him a big hug,” Loni Kerze, mother of Christopher Kerze, said.

Twenty-eight years later, there’s still hope.

The search was done in partnership with the Itasca County Sheriff's office, Itasca County Search and Rescue team, Eagan Police Department, Minnesota DNR Conservation officers, and volunteers.

"We have more technology today in search and rescue than we did back in 1990 and even in 2004,” Greiner said.

“With our search and rescue team that we have in Itasca, we feel confident that we're giving the best effort with the equipment and the trained personnel to try to close this case for Eagan Police Department and the family," Greiner said.

The crew was separated into two groups, searching on the east and west side of Highway 38. The crew searched a one mile squared grid on each side.

"They're trained in searching for evidence for any type of broken pathways that are created," Greiner said.

"We want people's memories to be jogged. Around that time period of 1990, or even now, to try and remember some of the items he had with him," Aaron Machtemes, an officer with Eagan Police Department, said.

Christopher took a 20 gauge Mossberg bolt action shotgun when he left. He was also wearing a zebra patterned watch.

"Knowing that there was a possible weapon involved with this incident back from 1990, they're armed with metal detectors looking for any evidence of trying to possibly locate a firearm," Greiner said.

The unity of the community remains strong, in hope of giving the Kerze family peace and closure.

"We don't give up on cold cases. We’re always willing to partake in making sure that we’re doing every best effort to making sure that families get closure in these type of cases," Greiner said.

If anyone has tips or information, call 911.

An updated image of Kerze can be found here:


Alejandra Palacios

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