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Volunteers continue search for missing 27-year-old Naples man

Posted at 12:13 PM, Oct 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-17 12:13:35-04

NAPLES, Fla.-- The search continues for missing 27-year-old Jamie Curtis, a Naples man with autism who went missing in mid-September. The nonprofit Peace River K-9 Search & Rescue has now taken over the search along with dozens of volunteers in the community.

"Just to show that there are people out there that do care and that are willing to help," said volunteer Heather Vanbrummelen.

Peace River K-9 is based out of Charlotte County and also helped in the search for the two young boys who went missing on their boat off the east coast of Florida last year. The decision to get involved in this case was made after friends and family of Curtis contacted the organization asking for help.

"All the Collier County people did a wonderful job but they had difficult conditions of the swamp, the water was very high in the days after Jamie's disappearance," said Peace River Chaplin Sarah Whitten-Grigsby.

On Sunday, the group was focusing on the same search area as before but hoping with favorable conditions they would have better luck. Also, thanks to Facebook pages, JeepPeeps and 4x4 for Good, people who have never even met Curtis were stepping up to help.

"A lot of buggies are having trouble getting through the thickness of the brush, but all in all the waters gone down a lot so its made it easier for the 4x4s," said Vanbrummelen.

Volunteers also turned to drones, giving them an aerial view of the search area that they were then reviewing back at the command post.

"I think the technology is truly amazing," said Whitten-Grigsby.

But evenw ith the advanced technology, as off late Sunday the group was without any new leads. However, those in charge said that doesn't mean they are giving up hope just yet.

"I think that what we'd like to do is find some evidence of Jamie that he has survived, or if he has not survived that we can at least know that," said Whitten- Grigsby.

Peace River K-9 Search & Rescue said this is an ongoing search and as information develops they will remain involved in the case.