ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The family of a man who went missing last month while hunting in eastern Minnesota is still hoping for answers.
Lee Peltier was accompanied by three friends while visiting Nemadji State Forest near Hinckley on Nov. 3, The Pioneer Press reported . The forest encompasses nearly 93,000 acres in Pine and Carlton counties.
Peltier's family said the group purposefully split up while they were hunting to try and flush out some deer. The family said the 59-year-old was an experienced outdoorsman. He never returned to the group. He was reported missing the next day.
"It's just like this big feeling of emptiness," said Peltier's daughter Katie Nelson. "We have no idea what happened. We have no idea where he ended up. Every time we walked out of that forest, I just felt like we were leaving him behind. It was awful. It's really important that we recover him because he's just out there. He's still out there."
The Pine County sheriff's office led a search of the area that included more than 100 volunteers. The weather dropped to 21 degrees, which made the search difficult. No trace of Peltier was found.
Son David Peltier believes his father may have become hypothermic.
The sheriff's office called off the search on Nov. 9, but Sheriff Jeff Nelson said the office would continue to investigate any new leads.
Peltier's daughter Megan DeCorsey said he has nine grandchildren who range in age from 6 months to 11 years old.
"They know he's missing, and that he was lost hunting, but they don't know the severity of it," DeCorsey said. "We haven't mentioned that we think he's dead. They know that we're looking for him."
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