Missing Blair man found dead on wildlife refuge land in Nebraska

Ronald Harvey was reported missing last week
A missing Blair man has been found dead on DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge land.
Published: May. 11, 2023 at 12:30 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Neb. (WOWT) - The body of a man reported missing more than a week ago was found in the DeSoto National Wildlife Preserve.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said that the body of Ronald Harvey, 58, of Blair, had been recovered Thursday from the Nebraska side of the wildlife refuge.

A Sheriff’s Office spokesman told 6 News that an autopsy will be ordered.

He had last been seen Wednesday, May 3; his family reported him missing the following day. Authorities said last week that they were able to ping Harvey’s phone in two locations.

Authorities from around the area have since been conducting daily searches near the preserve. The initial search caused a portion of the preserve to be closed to the public for a few days.

Today, May 11, 2023 Ronald Harvey was recovered from the Nebraska side of the Desoto Wildlife Refuge. The Washington...

Posted by Washington County Sheriff's Office NE on Thursday, May 11, 2023

Dozens of people and several agencies have participated in searches around wildlife areas around that area, where Harvey was thought to have gone looking for mushrooms. His car had been found on the Nebraska side of Desoto Bend, prompting land-search efforts to be focused there initially, but authorities had turned their focus to the Iowa side on Tuesday and moreso on the Missouri River.

“At this time we feel that we have done a thorough search of the land and are now concentrating our efforts to the river,” Washington County Sherrif’s Det. Sgt. Brian Beckman told 6 News.

Authorities said more than 100 people were out searching for Harvey during the first days of the search.

“Searches were made on foot, ATV type vehicles as well as search dogs,” Beckman said. “The refuge and the area immediately surrounding the refuge was searched from the ground, air, and water.”

Many area authorities also assisted in the search, including the Blair Fire Department and police from Fort Calhoun, Ponca Hills, and Omaha, as well as Logan and Missouri Valley in Iowa. OPD Able-1 and LifeNet helicopters have also assisted with the search, which has also included drones from OPD, Blair PD, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

This is a developing story. Stay with 6 News for updates.