The high current of the Missouri River is making the search difficult for a Santee man who is believed to have fallen into the water early Saturday morning.
According to those searching, the river's current is troublesome for divers wanting to search the area upriver from Santee in hopes of finding 38-year-old Arturo Rouillard. On Wednesday morning more searchers from Homer and the Nebraska Game & Parks were assisting in an area about three miles from the Santee boat dock.
His mother, Laura Rouillard, said her only son was fishing with his girlfriend Adrienne Denney at Crazy Peak and was last seen at 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
“Early Saturday morning, him and his girlfriend were on the ATV and it went over a cliff and into the water," Rouillard said.
Many friends and family members were on scene Tuesday assisting with the search. An emotional Rouillard pleaded for others to join in the rescue effort.
“I’m asking for anybody to come down and help search for my son. Do you have draglines, boats, sonar detectors? I’m pleading as a mother, every mother knows when your child’s gone missing, you want him back," she said.
Denney's body was discovered by two Neligh fisherman later that morning and called law enforcement at 9:21 a.m. One of the men said they spotted her sitting upright against a bluff with her legs in the water.
“It was crazy. I was like, ‘Is that what I think that is?” said the fisherman, who asked not to be identified. “The water was only 49 degrees.”
He went on to say that there were no signs of any other people near her body. He did not see any other clothing, tracks or the four-wheeler.
As of Wednesday morning, the ATV still had not been located. The river depth near the accident is about 13 feet. Searchers have used sonar and said there's a lot of debris in the water, especially logs.
The fisherman who found Denney's body said he didn’t even realize until the next day that there was another person involved in the accident. He saw law enforcement canvassing the area again Sunday morning when he stopped to inquire about the situation and was told the woman’s boyfriend remained unaccounted for.
“I had no idea there was someone else missing,” he said.
Law enforcement and volunteers have been searching for Rouillard since discovering his girlfriend’s body. Rouillard is approximately 5-feet-5-inches tall and weighs 249 pounds.
Any information can be directed to the Santee Tribal Police Department at 402-857-2527.