Law enforcement concerned about search parties

Published 9:31 am Thursday, November 9, 2017

A reported sighting Monday morning of a missing Austin man that led authorities to search the area around a quarry south of town appears now not to have been him.

Dennis Hanson
Photo provided

The Austin Police Department issued a news release Thursday afternoon saying a resident of the area said he believes he was mistaken for Dennis Hanson, 72.

“The 63-year-old male stated he went out for his daily walk at approximately 8 a.m. Monday morning … on 540th Ave. near County Road 4 and he was wearing a green jacket,” Austin Police Chief Brian Krueger said in the release. “ The caller believes he is the person the eye witness saw that morning.”

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Hanson has been missing from his residence in the 2100 block of Third Avenue Southeast since Monday morning. Law enforcement currently has no leads on his location.

Hanson was last seen wearing a teal color jacket with a gray liner, a gray shirt, red baggy sweatpants, glasses and boots.

Groups of citizens continue to search, but have law enforcement concerned after a search party was observed trespassing on private property.

According to Mower County Chief Deputy Mark May, a search party was seen moving through a farmer’s corn field on Wednesday while searching for Hanson. No one in the party asked the farmer for permission. The search party also delayed him from harvesting his field.

May also said that law enforcement is concerned about the time frames of the searches after several people were found searching with flashlights late Wednesday night.

May is urging those who are looking for Hanson to respect private property and not search without the property owner’s permission. He also advises that people wear reflective bright orange because it is deer hunting season. He also warns that people should not go searching after dark as it increases the chances of getting hurt.

A search party is being organized for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11. The search party will meet in the parking lot of the Austin National Guard Armory, 800 21st Street NE. Those that wish to participate must RSVP at