Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Friday signed an executive order directing the Minnesota National Guard to assist the Cass County sheriff in search and recovery efforts for Peter Achermann of rural Leader.
Achermann, 82, has been missing since July 24. His vehicle was found the next day about 10 miles from his home.
The governor's statement said the Cass County Sheriff''s Department requested assistance after exhausting local resources. The executive order calls for personnel and equipment assistance from the National Guard.
Searchers were looking for Achermann off of County Road 32 and 85th Avenue north of Staples on Friday, not far from where Achermann's vehicle was found two weeks ago. Three more search and rescue dogs and their handlers were expected to join in the search this weekend, along with many other volunteers.
Cass County Sheriff Randy Fisher said that the soldiers were expected to arrive about 9 a.m. Saturday in the Motley area to begin the ground search. Searches by air have been ongoing and will continue, the sheriff said.
"Anything we can do to locate Mr. Achermann," said Fisher. "Everyone wants to locate Mr. Achermann."
Gov. Tim Pawlenty's office had initially declined a request from two DFL lawmakers to deploy the National Guard in the search for Achermann because it had not yet received a request from Cass County law officials. Fisher said the governor's office contacted him Thursday.
Christopher J. DeLaForest, the governor's director of legislative and cabinet affairs, responded Friday morning to the request in a letter to Rep. Al Doty, DFL-Royalton, and Rep. John Ward, DFL-Brainerd.
"The state's protocol is to consider deploying the Guard to search for mission persons only upon request from the law enforcement agency leading the search.
The two lawmakers had asked Gov. Tim Pawlenty to deploy Minnesota National Guard troops to search for Achermann.
In their joint letter the lawmakers said they have been approached by numerous individuals who have been troubled by the disappearance of Achermann, who, friends said, had not shown any signs of dementia or mental illness. A group of about 30 searchers, working with the Cass County Sheriff's Department, looked for the missing man Thursday.
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