BIG LAKE, Mo. -- The search for missing Missouri State Trooper Fred Guthrie, 46, and his K-9 partner, Reed, has sadly turned into a recovery operation. Guthrie was a 17-year veteran of the specialized State Water Patrol (SWP), which was founded in 1959 and has not previously experienced a line-of-duty death. K-9 Reed had been his partner for five years.
Guthrie’s patrol truck was found on Monday afternoon. Neither Guthrie nor K-9 Reed could be located. The specific details of what happened are unknown but there is some speculation that the dog may have gotten in trouble and the trooper then went to his aid. They were “apparently swept away by swift floodwater in the area,” according to a press release from the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
The SWP, which recently became a part of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, provides its officers with extensive training in dealing with swift water rescues and flood situations. After a number of close calls during rescues, the SWP developed and presented specialized swift water training in 2009 that covered boat operations in swift water, self-rescue and other flood rescue techniques.
Officers from several agencies using vehicles, boats and aircraft are participating in the recovery effort.