Last cell phone transmission near Big Star Lake

NEWAYGO COUNTY — A search for a northwestern Newaygo County man is under way after he was reported missing Friday night. Luke Eaves, 40, was reported missing by his wife, Karla, after she hadn’t heard from him Friday night. Eaves is described as being a Caucasian male, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans, cowboy boots and a baseball cap. He was traveling in his dark blue 1999 F-150 pick-up truck. Eaves lived with his wife of five years near the areas of Hesperia and Bitely in northwestern Newaygo County. Eaves went to work Friday, but Karla did not see him when she returned from work. She had to return back to work later that night. After returning home again, she still hadn’t heard from hin. She said he didn’t get the mail and it looked like he hadn’t fed their horses. “It was just strange because he loves his animals and he takes such good care of them. He always feeds them at 7 p.m.,” Karla said. She text messaged him that she was home and he didn’t respond. She sent a message again later that night asking when he would be home and he didn’t respond again. She spoke with police that night and expressed her concern but said she wasn’t completely alarmed at that point. Karla and Eaves had discussed their weekend plans — he considered going camping — and she thought maybe there was a miscommunication and he indeed decided to go camping. On Saturday, Karla learned others hadn’t seen him and that he missed work. “He hadn’t gone to work, which was huge too because he’s a total teamplayer when it comes to work,” Karla said. “He always puts in his fair share. He was supposed to be there and he wouldn’t have just not called.” This behavior isn’t like Eaves and he does not have a medical condition that would explain the behavior, Karla said. The Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office located Eaves last cell phone transmission near Big Star Lake near Baldwin. However, cell phone transmission aren’t always accurate and the phone is either turned off or the battery is dead. “There is some cell phone activity that maybe puts him in southern Lake County, we are not certain about that,” said Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office Det. Adam Mercer. “Sometimes they are accurate within a few feet, and sometimes thousands and tens of thousands of feet.” Police do not have a good starting point to locate him, Mercer said. A Michigan State Police helicopter flew over Oceana, Newaygo and Lake counties Wednesday, but had to discontinue the search due to bad weather. Karla describes Eaves as being an outdoorsman and said he likes to go “two-tracking,” so he could be anywhere. Although police still are trying to gain access to his accounts, it does not appear that any transactions have been made since Friday and he did not make any big withdrawals before leaving, Karla said. When asked why he might have disappeared, Karla cited some “ups and downs” but did not believe that would be linked to his disappearance. However, Mercer expressed more direr concerns about the disappearance. “The circumstances leading up to his disappearance, I can’t comment on that part — at some life circumstances that were taking place — but there are concerns that he is not alive,” Mercer said. Friends and family have searched typical locations where Eaves might have gone but have not located him, Karla said. However, the community has come together to find him. “This is his hometown,” she said. “He’s from here, everybody knows Luke, everybody loves Luke, so the response has just been crazy. There’s people getting people involved, people posting things on Facebook and making fliers and doing everything before I even know what to do.” Two Facebook pages are being used to share information about the search for Eaves,
www.facebook.com/FindLukeEaves
and www.facebook.com/comstock.bar . The license plate on Eaves’ truck reads “BVV 0683.” Anyone with information about Eaves whereabouts should contact the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office at (231) 689-7303.