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Posted - 08/07/2009 05:00pm
Missing Bates Co. Man Gets National Attention
Missing Bates Co. Man Gets National Attention
Reported by: Ryan Kath
Last Update: 8:10 am

AMSTERDAM, Mo – A nationally-recognized search team is providing renewed hope for the family of David Cook, a Bates County man who has been missing since November.

Over the weekend, the Texas Equusearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team arrived in Amsterdam, Mo. Cook was last seen at the sprawling 10,000 acre ranch before he disappeared without a trace.

The non-profit group is led by Tim Miller. His daughter, Laura, was abducted and murdered in 1984. Miller and more than 1,000 volunteers now make it their mission to end missing person cases across the nation.

“I was excited when I heard they were coming,” said Judy Transue, Cook’s sister. “It’s people with fresh ideas and fresh eyes looking into the situation.”

Using sophisticated underwater cameras and other sonar equipment, team members have already looked for any sign of Cook in the vast piece of land. It is an area roughly five times the size of downtown Kansas City.

When Cook went missing in November, there were no signs of a struggle inside his house. His pickup trucks, keys and wallet were all left behind. The only things missing were his cell phone, glasses and money clip.

Authorities do not have any suspects. Relatives said Cook had some volatile situations over the years. He once received death threats after testifying in a federal fraud case, according to family members.

“There were some rough people around there. There was some conflict,” said Transue. “We believe foul play was involved, but other than that, we don’t have any explanation.”

Cook’s sister just hopes the Equusearch team can finally end the speculation about the KCP&L worker and hard-working rancher. The team will continue its search on Monday.

“He was such an easy-going, fun guy to be around,” she said.

A reward in Cook’s case is now at $100,000. Anyone with information should contact the Missouri Highway Patrol or Bates County Sheriff’s Department.