September 24, 2010

02/10/08: Jeffrey Liepitz, 35, Mosinee, WI

Jeffrey Liepitz
Thirty-five year old Jeffrey M. Liepitz of Mosinee, Wisconsin was last seen on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008, at 1:30 a.m. walking out of Dinger’s Sports Bar on Main Street (Highway 153) in Mosinee. He was wearing a light brown jacket, blue jeans and a Dallas Cowboys cap.

The missing man’s mother, Marlyne Rayome, said she was concerned that her son may have an injury that could explain his disappearance (Wausau Daily Herald, 2/12/08). Rayome, who lives with her son in Mosinee, said she received a call from one of his friends telling her that people in the bar were hitting Liepitz in the head. Rayome said she went to the bar after receiving the call, but her son no longer was there.

Liepitz was going through a divorce and was upset the night he went out to Dinger's, his brother Scott Liepitz, told the Wausau Herald. According to the Herald, "At the tavern, several people made fun of Jeff for wearing a Dallas Cowboys hat, a team he had liked since childhood. Jeff Liepitz left the bar after being hit in the head by bar patrons, Scott said."

Family members contacted police at about 11 a.m. Sunday after Liepitz failed to return home.

Mosinee Police Chief Ken Muelling confirmed to the Wausau Daily Herald that police were called to the bar after a fight erupted. Liepitz was part of that fight and took off running when police arrived.

"It wasn't highly unusual for somebody to take off running from the bar as the police are arriving," siad Muelling, but what is unusual is that after this amount of time this person hasn't shown up."

Jeffrey Liepitz lived with his mother, Marlyne Rayome, in Mosinee, Wisconsin. She said he did not drink often and speculated that could have left him vulnerable in the bar or more disoriented. She could think of no reasons why her son would intentionally disappear and thought he would contact her or return home, unless he was hurt.

Rayome said it wasn't like her son to go somewhere without informing her. "If he's going to be late, he calls me," she said. (Wausau Daily Herald, 2/13/08).

The Search for Jeffrey Liepitz

Officers have retraced Liepitz's steps, contacted witnesses to learn more about the circumstances of his disappearance, searched a wooded area near the bar, and also brought in tracking dogs to help find the missing man.

But footprints showed he might have walked to the river's edge. Dogs searched along the Wisconsin River, which isn't far from the bar.

The Wausau Paper Corp. in Mosinee has begun lowering a channel in the river upstream from the dam to allow Mosinee police to search for Liepitz’ body.
On March 17, 2008, the clothed body of Jeffrey M. Liepitz was found in the Wisconsin River near Little Bull Falls Island and Highway 153 in Mosinee around 11:15 am. The body was found about 50 yards from the west shore of the river. The bar where Liepitz was last seen was about one block west from the site.

Marathon County Medical Examiner John Larson made a preliminary identification of the body before it was taken to Madison for an autopsy and positive identification.

A Mosinee police officer told the Wausau Daily Herald on Feb. 13 that foul play was not suspected in his disappearance despite a report that Liepitz was being hit in the head while at the bar.

Rayome told the Herald that the discovery brings relief and closure to the family. "I can bring him home at least and put him to rest," Rayome said.

Scott Liepitz told the Herald that his brother hated water. "The only reason he was out on the ice is if he was hurt," he said. "Everyone in Mosinee knows not to go in the river."

About Jeffrey Liepitz

Jeff Liepitz was known for his unique sense of humor, his natural ability to fix cars, and his love of NASCAR and collecting memorabilia, particularly of his favorite driver, Mark Martin. Liepitz had even been in contact with NASCAR about entering a training program to work on stock car bodies and motors. Jeff had shown an interest in cars since he was a young boy, often hanging out at body shops or with mechanics.

His brother, Scott, told the Herald, "He was the kind of guy if he was your friend, he was your friend for life."

Liepitz was described as being 6'1, and 180 pounds. He has brown hair, and blue eyes, and was wearing a light brown jacket, and a Dallas Cowboys baseball cap.

If you have any information on Liepitz’s whereabouts, call the Mosinee Police Department at 693-2000.

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