NORWICH TOWNSHIP, MI – On Tuesday November 7th, 2017 the Michigan State Police Houghton Lake Post initiated a missing persons investigation for a 34-year-old man and 19-year-old woman who were last seen about 30 miles north-east of Cadillac, MI. They remain missing.
Jeff Hurley, 34-years-old, from Prudenville, and Alexandria Foust, 19-years-old, of Cadillac, were reported missing.
The same day hunters reported finding a vehicle and personal belongings from the two missing subjects on a gas pipeline in Norwich Township of Missaukee County. A witness reported seeing the couple driving the vehicle into the area on the 7th. The vehicle was stuck in mud at the time of its discovery.
The Michigan State Police Houghton Lake post immediately initiated a search for the missing pair in the Dead Stream Swamp. They were assisted by members of the Missaukee County Sheriff’s Department, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan State Police Canine Unit, The Michigan State Police Aviation Unit, and detectives from the Michigan State Police Seventh District Special Investigation Section. Multiple aviation missions were flown over the area in support of multiple Michigan State Police Canine teams on the ground.
A Missing/Endangered Persons release was shared with all local print, radio, and television media. Media outlets asked for anyone with contact with or information about the missing subjects to call 911 or call the Michigan State Police Houghton Lake Post. Detectives made contact with all known associates and family members in hopes the couple had found their way out of the swamp and made contact with friends.
The frigid weather dropping into the teens and delivering freezing rain and snow were taken into account as the search efforts pressed on for multiple days. On Thursday November 9, 2017 the area received four inches of fresh snow with extreme cold weather conditions. The search efforts confirmed the couple’s presence in the area with multiple personal items located by canine teams and retrieved. However, the search efforts did not result in the location of Jeff or Alexandria.
After careful evaluation of the search area, assessments of recent inclement weather impact, confirmation that all media, investigative, aviation, canine, and foot search resources had been exhausted, the family was advised that the current search and rescue plan would conclude at nightfall on November 10, 2017.
Search flights and canine searches are expected to resume in the near future. All tips and leads will be followed-up by detectives.
The Michigan firearm deer season opens on November 15th bringing hundreds of sportsmen and women into the area. Hunters are asked to be diligent in their observations while hunting afield in this area. If you should come upon Jeff, Alexandria, or anything you may think is evidence in this matter, please leave the area undisturbed and contact the Michigan State Police Houghton Post at 9011 W. Lake City Rd. Houghton Lake, or immediately call 989-422-5101, or 911.
As always, please prepare yourself for the extreme weather conditions prior to entering Michigan’s winter wonderland, and always let your loved ones know where you will be hunting or exploring. Have a plan, know your hunt area, and utilize your navigational tools while hunting afield.