Brother Hopeful After Sibling Goes Missing West of Africa

Posted at: 04/17/2013 10:46 PM
Updated at: 04/17/2013 10:54 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) --  A Stewartville man is looking for answers following his brothers disappearance in Africa. Jerry Krause has been a missionary in Mali Africa for 25 years. He was last heard from ten days ago, while flying to South Africa to get a refurbished airplane. He lost communication during a tropical storm and hasn't been seen since.

His brother Jeremy Krause is handling it better than you might expect. He says his brother Jerry is a very good pilot and a fighter. He's hopeful he'll be found alive. "He's an extremely good pilot. He's been doing this for 25 years. He loves the lord and loves being a missionary in Africa," said Jeremy. He's still in disbelief that his older brother, an experienced pilot, is now missing.

54 year-old Jerry Krause has been a missionary in Mali for more than two decades. He was flying solo to South Africa and back, when he got caught up in a tropical storm. "He was about 9 miles out from that island and he lost contact with that island," said Jeremy. They believe he lost contact somewhere near the island of Sao Tome, where his next fuel stop would've been. However, there was no sign of debris, and no emergency signals from the plane. "That was leading us to believe that maybe the airplane didn't crash and maybe something else happened to him since then," said Jeremy.

He thinks he could’ve landed there without informing anyone, or flown into western Africa to get out of the storm, something that's another concern to Jeremy. “He could be even held hostage or just landing in hostel area," said Jeremy.

Even while imagining the worst possible scenarios, Jeremy still says that not having an answer, is almost more troubling. "The biggest fear is just not knowing what ever did happen to him. He just disappears," said Jeremy.

Others in the family, including Jerry's wife and three kids, are feeling the weight if this uncertainty. "Everybody's feeling the pain for sure," said Jeremy. Though it's been tough, they say they're not giving up. "We have to. As a family, you know, we keep praying to god," said Jeremy.

His family has been in contact with officials in Africa and in the United States, but say communication has been especially difficult from one country to the next. His family has created a website to help gather clues on his whereabouts. That's at www.findjerry.com.