by Peter Jakey–Managing Editor
A search crew organized by the Presque Isle County Sheriff’s Department was back out this past weekend looking for a clue that might provide a connection to the whereabouts of Mikel Schepke, who came up missing after leaving his home along Birchwood Drive.
The search north of Rogers City, which started Nov. 10, turned into a recovery effort Nov. 13, 2013, but was suspended prior to the firearm deer season.
The time of the disappearance provided some of the harshest weather conditions since the previous winter.
Sheriff Bob Paschke said the latest search Saturday and Sunday was an attempt to make sure crews had covered all areas.
“See if we missed anything,” said Paschke. ‘Maybe we were just trying to get lucky, I guess. See if we can find him.” And provide some closure to the family.
Schepke had been living with his sister Jane McCaslin and her husband Cal for two-and-one-half years. Mike had gone on daily walks, but always came back.
The regional CERT (community emergency response team), firefighters, sheriff’s department personnel, as well as volunteers took part.
Paschke said a crew of 20 to 25 searchers, which included K-9 units from different parts of the state, were on hand and in the area all day Saturday.
“I went out there Sunday, but they had about five to 10 at the most,” said Paschke. “They searched around the house again to cover some spots that could have been missed. Then, up on the corner of Birchwood where it turns into U.S.-23.” They also were in the area of 646 Highway and Meredith, further north.
It has been another dramatic ordeal for Schepke’s family.
More than 37 years ago, on the afternoon of Nov. 5, 1976, Mikel and his mother Lauretta were left for dead after a brutal attack at the family-owned Halfway Station, along 638 Highway between Millersburg and Hawks.
Schepke return from school on the bus and walked into the store to find two assailants holding his mother with large hunting knives. They stabbed Mike four times and savagely beat him.
Mike had been attending school in Rogers City was considered a normal young man with no physical disabilities. He had to undergo brain surgery, and because of the attack, had part of it removed.
The McCaslins took him in a few years ago and his health improved dramatically, Cal McCaslin told the Advance in November 2013.
Paschke said there will be a follow-up search this weekend.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s department at 989-734-2156.