April 29, 2013

01/16/13: Charles Geurts, 26, Madison, WI

Charles Geurts
Charlie Geurts, 26, walast seen at the Sheraton Madison Hotel after an agribusiness trade show at the Alliant Energy Center on January 16, 2013. He left the hotel at 2:20 a.m. and didn't return. He did not have his cell phone or truck with him. Investigators believe Geurts may have knocked on the patio door of a nearby homeowner about a half hour later. His body was found on April 17, 2013 about 1/4 mile from Olin Park by a local diver.

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Full Story:
Madison Businessman Disappears After Trade Show

Charles "Charlie" Geurts, 26, came to Madison, Wisc. with co-workers for the WABA Convention and Trade Show, an agribusiness trade show, at the Alliant Energy Center. After socializing with other attendees on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, Geurts went back to his room at the Sheraton Madison Hotel in the 700 block of John Nolan Drive. He left again at 2:20 a.m. on Wednesday and didn't return.

"His roommate at the hotel said Geurts's bed hadn't been slept in," said Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain.

Charlie had also left behind his cell phone. His truck was in the parking lot.

The Search for Charlie Geurts

According to an incident report published by the City of Madison, police searched the area in and around the Sheraton Hotel. K9 and Mounted Patrol resources were deployed to search in the Waunona Way, Olin Park, and Lake Monona areas. Fifty family members and friends, many who traveled from the Fox Valley area, distributed over 700 fliers in the Waunona Way, Bridge Road and Lake Point Drive neighborhoods today. Homeowners were also asked to check their properties.

During a Madison news conference on Thursday, April 13, Madison Police captain Joe Balles said Geurts had been seen on surveillance footage leaving his hotel near the lake. Investigators believed he knocked on the patio door of a homeowner on Waunona Way on the lake's shore about a half hour later. Specially-trained police dogs were able to track Geurts's scent from the scene using his baseball cap and underwear to points along the shore of Lake Monona in Madison. One cadaver dog was able to pinpoint the scent to a point approximately one-half mile from shore on the lake, when its water was still frozen. Officials say holes in the ice were drilled and underwater cameras deployed, but no sign of the body was found.

On Tuesday, April 17, Geurts's body was found about 1/4 mile from Olin Park by Rick Krueger of Madison, a diver who regularly scavenges area lakes for wrecks and historical items. After collecting the coordinates of the dog's discovery from law enforcement officials, Krueger took his boat to the location. Using side-scanning sonar equipment and an underwater camera, he was able to identify an object and man's boots on the lake bottom in approximately thirty-three feet of water. He called the authorities, and the dive team began recovery operations early the next day. Geurts's body was recovered from the lake around 10:30 a.m.

A forensic autopsy was completed Wednesday and preliminary results are pending additional study. There was nothing, however, discovered during the examination that would suggest criminal activity.

This case remains under investigation by the City of Madison Police and the Dane County Medical Examiner's Office.


Reprinted from Legacy.com:

Charles "Charlie" Geurts, 26, of Kaukauna passed away unexpectedly on January 16, 2013. He was born on September 24, 1986 to Chuck and Mary Geurts. He was engaged to Liz Heise of Kaukauna.

Charlie graduated from Wrightstown High School in 2005, where he was involved in 4-H, FFA, and Tiger Baseball. Then attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree.

He first started his interest in agriculture from working at United Meadow Dairy and helping out at the Erdmann Farm. Then after college he was employed full time as an agronomist by Agri Partners of Chilton.

Charlie enjoyed spending time with his fiancé Liz, family, and friends. Charlie enjoyed baseball and pumpkin ball. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and sharing stories with his "up north" family at his family's cabin. He liked country music, Packer and Brewers games.

He will be deeply missed by his Mom and Dad, brothers, Ben and David, his fiancé Liz, her family, Aunts and Uncles: Cal, Earl and Cheryl, Dan and Karen McGregor, Judy and Art Schultz, Laura and Ted Kocken, Myrt and Don Koltz, Jerry and Barb, Gene and Nancy, Glenn and Carol, Roy and Sue, Jeff and Julie Geurts, Debbie and Scott Stimart.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Chip and Mary Geurts and Earl and Loretta McGregor, and his aunt, Sara McGregor.

Family and friends of Charlie may visit at St. Clare Catholic Church-St. Paul site in Wrightstown on Sunday, April 21, 2013 from 3-8pm. A parish prayer service will be held at 8pm to conclude the evening. Visitation will continue on Monday, April 22, at the church from noon until 2:45pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 3pm Monday with Rev. Dennis Bergsbaken officiating. Cotter Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Wrightstown, is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to Charlie's family at www.cotterfuneralhome.com.

The family respectfully requests no flowers be sent, but rather memorials be directed to Charlie's family to establish a memorial fund in his name.

Charlie's family would like to thank the Madison Police Department, the K-9 Unit, the crime response program and all of the other people who helped bring Charlie home.

Case Details
Name: Charles Geurts, 26
Last seen: 01/16/13, 2:20 a.m., Sheraton Madison Hotel, 700 block of John Nolan Drive, Madison, WI
Status: Recovered 04/17/13 Lake Monona, Madison, Wisc.
Physical description: 5'11", 180 pounds, blond hair, blue eyes.
Last seen wearing: gray sweatshirt, blue jeans and boots.
Investigating agency: Madison Police Department, 608-266-4924


City of Madison. (2013, January 16). Incident Report. Retrieved April 28, 2013 from

Novak, Bill. (2013, January 18). Search goes on for third day for missing Kaukauna man. The Capital Times. Retrieved April 28, 2013 from http://host.madison.com/news/local/crime_and_courts/search-goes-on-for-third-day-for-missing-kaukauna-man/article_0cdc066a-60b2-11e2-b8bd-001a4bcf887a.html.

Priebe, Katie and Turner, Robyn. (2013, April 18). Body recovered from Lake Monona identified as Charles Geurts. WKOW.com. Retrieved April 28, 2013 from

Staff article. (2013, January 19). Police end search for missing man. Channel 3000.com. Retrieved April 28, 2013 from http://www.channel3000.com/news/Police-end-search-for-missing-man/-/1648/18200324/-/123pgk/-/index.html.

Staff article. (2013, April 19). Obituary.  Green Bay Press-Gazette. Retrieved April 28, 2013 from

WSAW Staff/ Associated Press. (2013, April 18). Police: Body of Missing Kaukauna Man Discovered in Madison Lake.
WASW.com Retrieved April 28, 2013 from http://www.wsaw.com/home/headlines/UPDATE-Search-Continue-for-Man-in-Madison-187449441.html


Skunky said...

More since my last check...

Sunil Tripathi~22~Providence, RI
(Brown University Student)
Missing since 3/16/2013
Found 4/23/2013 in Providence River

James Sylvester~21~Palos Heights, IL
(Crestwood College Student)
Missing since 3/27/2013
Found 5/3/2013 in Lake Arrowhead
(with car)

David Rodgers~20~Northfield, WI
(University of Wisconsin, Eau Clair Student)
Missing since 4/19/2013
Fell in Chippewa River
Body STILL not found...

Jmaal M. Keyes~19~Georgia
(Middle Georgia State College Student)
Missing since 4/25/2013

Good, old Eau Claire, Wisconsin AGAIN. And Illinois. Rhode Island is no stranger to this phenomena. Georgia is more rare...

Skunky said...

Looks like they found the body (and alleged killer) of poor Jmaal Keyes...17 YO Robert K. Rollison of Hawkinsville, GA. (not typical MO of the "SFK" sort.

GA is usually not a hot-bed area, but there have been some mysterious drownings.

My heart truly goes out to the Keyes family. Such sad and tragic news.

Skunky said...

David Rodgers body is still not found even thou' he supposedly fell into Chippewa River on 4/19.

Also, watching to see what happens to missing RI student Matthew Royer....

Skunky said...

Matthew Royer has since been found ALIVE but his family isn't saying what happened.

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