On the evening of August 2, 2008, the Russell County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a missing man at Wilson Lake. Officers responded and began a ground and water search for Colby Callahan of Larned, KS. Mar. Callahan had been attending a family reunion when he left to ride a jet ski on Lake Wilson. He was last seen riding east from the Lucas Park boat ramp. Later in the evening, family members located the jet ski beached on some rocks in Lucas Park. The family removed the jet ski and later reports came in that Callahan had been seen walking in the area where the ski was located. Officers from the Russell County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State Wildlife and Parks, Kansas Emergency Management and Rural Fire Departments, along with family members began a ground search of the area. Corps Rangers and Park Officers searched from the water. The search was called off around 3:00 a.m. and resumed again around 6:00 a.m. the next day. Requests were made for aircraft from the Air National Guard and Civil Air Patrol. Numerous volunteers from surrounding counties and number Fire Departments responded and searches were made by foot, horse back, and ATVs of the entire park area. Lincoln County Rescue Squad along with local divers searched the water in the coves near where the jet ski was located. The search was called off again late in the day to give searches a chance to recover from the heat. The Red Cross was on hand to provide searchers with water and food. The search was again started around 8:00 a.m. on August 4th, with Kansas Wildlife and Parks and U.S. Army Corps boats using side scanning sonar. Boats scanned the cove areas and open parts of the lake and divers searched positive hits from the sonar. Kansas Highway Patrol aircraft searched the lake from the air while family searched the shoreline. Mr. Callahan’s body surfaced and was spotted by a local fishing guide who was also searching the lake and called law enforcement. His body was located about 100 yards southeast from the area where the jet ski was located out in open water. Officers from the Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Wildlife and Parks located the body and pulled him from the lake. Family confirmed the body was Callahan and he was transported from the lake for autopsy.
Russell County Sheriff
John R. Fletcher