Authorities Search Thick Woods For Missing Creek County Man

Tuesday, August 2nd 2016, 2:03 pm
By: Tess Maune

More than 40 people are searching for a Creek County man who hasn't been seen since Sunday. He disappeared along Buckeye Creek near Silver City, which is west of Mannford.

Trackers searched more than a square mile Tuesday, all on foot, in the heat and through heavy brush for 19-year-old David Lane Howard.

The view from Osage SkyNews 6 HD shows the harsh conditions down below - thick with brush and the long, winding Buckeye Creek.

Creek County Sergeant Les Vaughan said, “We've got the trained trackers in the field, they're having a hard go of it because of the terrain.”

He said Howard and two other men went to the creek Sunday morning to swim. The men told investigators they became separated from their friend sometime between 10:30 a.m. and noon Sunday morning.

Vaughan said no one reported Howard missing until after dark Sunday night.

“It's impossible to track in the dark in there,” the sergeant said.

The search started Monday morning with one lead, some tracks; but, eventually, the tracks stopped, leaving investigators with little to go on.

8/2/2016 Related Story: Search Resumes For Missing Man In Creek County

Trackers went out first thing Tuesday morning with help from members of the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Department and a K-9 search team.

They trekked miles through the creek bed and searched the heavily wooded areas on foot.

The sheriff said they found clothes but said they belonged to the men Howard was with. He also said Howard was barefoot.

To help with the search, the county used drones, and even Osage SkyNews 6 HD, to try spot the missing man - all with no luck.

Vaughan said, “The brush is so thick it's just impossible to see.”

The sheriff said until they find Howard they can't call his disappearance suspicious. They just hope when he is found, he's alive.

“We're under the hopes that maybe he walked out, somebody picked him up,” said Vaughan.

The sheriff said there have been a lot of different stories about what happened Sunday. He said there's just too much they don't know about what went on to suspect any kind of foul play at this point.

He's also not calling it a recovery mission just yet.

The sheriff's office describes Howard as 5'8" inches tall with brown hair and a skull tattoo on his leg.

Investigators said if Howard is out there, they hope he'll contact the sheriff's office or family. They also ask anyone with any information to call the Creek County Sheriff's Office at 918-224-4964.