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The original item was published from 3/6/2017 7:58:14 PM to 3/18/2017 12:00:06 AM.

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Police Department

Posted on: March 6, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Crews change focus in continued search for vehicle in river

Rescue boat

Partnering emergency crews today felt they exhausted their search at the convergence of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo rivers for a Hyundai Sonata that crashed into the river early Saturday morning.

After about six hours today of attempting to confirm the location of the vehicle, previously thought to be in the rapids area where the rivers converge, off Hamblin Avenue, officials no longer believe the vehicle is in this location.

Evaluation of the video footage from a camera used to repeatedly sweep the area led officials to believe the car is not in that area, and may have floated further downstream. While a sweep of part of the river took place by boat and helicopter on Saturday, crews plan to search further.

Kalamazoo County will use sonar from the convergence to a location downstream, scanning the water for any evidence of the vehicle. Emmett Township will place their boat in the river elsewhere and also search for evidence of the vehicle.

Hamblin Avenue was reopened this evening as the multiple agencies called it quits for the day. They will reconvene Tuesday morning to continue the search.

Team members from Battle Creek Police and Fire, Emmett and Bedford Township Fire, and Calhoun, Allegan, Van Buren, and St. Joseph counties have worked together in various capacities since Saturday to locate the vehicle, which is believed to have crashed through a fence and into the concrete channeled section of the Kalamazoo River off Dickman Road, east of Capital Avenue.

It was seen on video footage from a nearby business floating backward through the channel. Crews have worked since to locate it.

Battle Creek Police are following a lead to the potential driver of the vehicle, a 31-year-old Detroit-area man with connections in Battle Creek, who was reported missing Sunday morning, and whose cell phone was last used in the location of the crash.

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