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Thread: Ryan Riebe (25) was pulled from a river three months after he fell through ice

  1. #1
    Administrator Olivia's Avatar
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    Ryan Riebe (25) was pulled from a river three months after he fell through ice

    For nearly two months, Terry Riebe hadn't received any new information about his son Ryan's disappearance.

    But a recent Facebook post describing Terry Riebe's efforts to find his son has prompted new interest in what might have happened to the 25-year-old who was last seen in December and may have fallen through the ice on Green Bay's East River.

    The Facebook post has been shared tens of thousands of times, and it has resulted in unverified sightings of a man fitting his son's description and mannerisms from across the state.

    Each report has provided a faint glimmer of hope for a family that has been consumed with pain, haunted by the possibility Ryan Riebe died when he tried to cross the river on a dark night just before Christmas.

    Ryan Riebe was last seen leaving Walgreens on North Military Avenue in Green Bay the night of Dec. 22. Video surveillance shows him leaving the store riding a blue Schwinn bicycle. He was wearing a black Carhart jacket and a Green Bay Packers hat.

    Terry Riebe, a truck driver who lives in the village of Whitelaw in Manitowoc County, had been texting Ryan about the time his son was at the store. Ryan had gone there to pick up money his father had sent to him through Western Union. But after that, the texts stopped ? something Terry said is very unlike Ryan.

    Just a few hours later, police received a report that a man had fallen through the ice on the East River near the parking lot of American Foods on University Avenue ? 3 miles from the drugstore and about a mile and a half from St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter where Ryan had been staying.

    Footprints and bicycle tracks were found leading onto the river and to a hole in the ice. However, rescue crews found nothing else, even after searching the water with sonar equipment.

    No body, no bicycle and no identification were recovered. Nothing showing who fell through the ice.

    Rick Belanger, a detective with the Green Bay Police Department, said a witness account and signs at the scene strongly suggest that someone went through the ice and didn't survive. However, police won't know for sure until spring when the ice thaws and breaks ? a thought that breaks the hearts of Ryan's family.

    As days of no news regarding his missing son turned to weeks, then to months, Terry Riebe said the silence became unbearable.

    That silence also acted as motivation for him to keep making noise however he could. He turned to social media.

    He begins his early mornings posting pictures of his son to Facebook, along with the number of days since Ryan was last seen and the few details surrounding his disappearance.

    After a while, online chatter dwindled and it seemed as if Ryan's name was being forgotten.

    But on Feb. 19 ? 59 days after his son disappeared ? the daily Facebook post exploded. The post details Terry Riebe going to the Walgreens and a local motel, showing employees pictures of his son. It has been shared more than 40,000 times.

    Ohio, Michigan, California, New York and Kentucky are just a few of the places where the post was shared.

    The shares are encouraging, Terry said, but the comments section is most captivating.

    One Facebook user said they thought they saw Ryan last Friday at Tundra Lodge Resort & Conference Center in Green Bay. Terry said the user told him the man, who was with a woman, looked a lot like Ryan and might have had similar tattoos. Ryan has several tattoos on his upper body.

    Another said she saw a man similar to Ryan at a casino in Baraboo who appeared to be confused and was escorted out by casino staff.

    Another saw a man who resembled Ryan on the side of a highway in Sheboygan.

    Several others urged Terry to check out a ramp off a busy highway in Milwaukee where a disheveled young man had been pacing back and forth for days. Terry's trucking route allowed him to stop there. Terry found him, gave the man (who was not his son) some money for food and went back to work.

    None of the reported sightings have led to anything. However, Belanger said police take reports of possible sightings seriously and are continuing to look into them.

    He acknowledges, though, that while social media is a powerful tool in disseminating information, it's also an easy place for people to make false claims.

    Terry knows that all too well.

    A Facebook user whose account says is based out of Texas, messaged Terry this week, saying she was with Ryan. It turned out to be hoax.

    "It makes me sad that there are people out there who would treat this awful situation as a joke," he said. "But that's the world we live in, I guess. I just have to keep moving forward."

    Terry continues to post about Ryan on Facebook as a way to keep his son's name in the mind of the public. But it also serves as a reminder to Terry to not get stuck in the mindset that it was Ryan who fell through the ice ? a narrative Terry hopes police and others don't get hung up on, either.

    "I know what it looks like," he said. "I know it is probably him, but I can't lose hope. Police have told me that unfortunately there are a lot of people who look like Ryan. I get that, but I will keep looking until I know for sure."

    He admits there are times he feels a sense of guilt, thinking that if Ryan hadn't been homeless, he might not be missing or have possibly drowned.

    "But I know I can't go on thinking that way," he said.

    In previous interviews with USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin, Terry was upfront about Ryan?s struggles with substance abuse and mental health issues.

    He said Ryan was prescribed Adderall and another medication, but often took more than prescribed. These and other circumstances led to Ryan no longer being welcome to live at home with either of his parents, who are divorced.

    Thus, Ryan was homeless, jumping from one shelter to the next and sometimes living on the street.

    ?I thought that if we kept letting him do what he was doing that he would never make a change,? Terry said. ?I thought that him being on his own would make him realize he needed to figure things out.?

    Belanger said dive crews plan to search the East River as soon as it's safe.

    He added the river's current could have washed a body into the bay. Even then, Belanger said, if there's a body, chances are good it will be found.

    "Those waters have heavy traffic," he said.

    Although Terry Riebe wants closure, in whatever form it may be, the idea of his son's body floating somewhere, or remaining just below the surface for this long, is a thought he will never get used to.

    He also can?t make sense of why the unverified sightings happened all at once after so long.

    Then again, it seems that just when things go quiet, Terry gets another sign to not give up, such as someone finding Ryan?s health insurance card on the ground in the 300 block of Webster Avenue. Or Terry discovering Ryan?s old watch that had been sitting on Terry?s dresser for over a year stopped at the same exact time police received a report that a man had fallen through the ice that December night.

    Belanger urges anyone with information regarding Ryan Riebe?s whereabouts or disappearance to call Green Bay police.

    "My heart goes out to the family," Belanger said. "This has to be the toughest thing for a parent to go through. I can?t even imagine."

    His father -
    Last edited by Olivia; 03-19-2018 at 03:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member PeaceBeWithMe's Avatar
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    Some of the Facebookers are the worst. This guy shared a post again today about his son, noting he's been missing for months, and everyone is, all, "DID THEY TRACK HIS PHONE!"



    Quote Originally Posted by marshmallow View Post
    did you make her into a wallet Bill? cuz if you did I'm off team Bill.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bewitchingstorm's Avatar
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    His poor father.

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    The Brown County Medical Examiner's Office has officially identified the man pulled from the East River in Green Bay as Ryan Riebe.

    Riebe was 25 when he went missing Dec. 22, 2017. That's the same day crews were called to the area of 1010 University Ave for the report of a person who fell through the ice.

    Rescue crews found a shoe imprint and bike impressions on the ice. They believed the person set out to walk across the river but did not reach the south shore. Due to the cross currents and ice, searchers were unable to safely go into the river at that time. Police deployed their sonar but nothing turned up.

    Investigators say evidence found at the scene suggested Ryan Riebe was in the area at this time.

    When the calendar turned to March, searchers began daily checks of the East River.

    On Thursday, the Green Bay Police Dive Team put sonar equipment in the water to take images of the bottom of the river. Divers were getting ready to go into the water when they discovered a body.

    "Both detectives and dive team members wanted to provide the closure to this family of this horrific tragedy," reads a statement from Green Bay Police.

    Riebe's father, Terry, has started a GoFundMe page to help cover his son's memorial costs. Click here to view the GoFundMe page for Ryan Riebe's memorial.

    Action 2 News spoke with Ryan Riebe's family in January. They told us Ryan had been staying at a homeless shelter. Terry Riebe said although his son had fallen on tough times he always stayed in touch.

    ?Not knowing, it's just beyond description, I mean at least if you could have closure if you know what happened, but I'd like to say it to the witnesses if they can contact me I have some questions,? Terry Riebe told us in January.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bermstalker's Avatar
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    They always end up in the water.

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