UPDATE: Sheriff’s Deputies Find Body of Bernie Bickels, Missing Since Saturday [VIDEO]
UPDATE: The Natrona County Coroner has positively identified the body of Bernie Bickels, who was pulled from the North Platte River this afternoon.
Natrona County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Aaron Shatto said deputies visually located the body in the river at 4:38 p.m. Tuesday between 1.25 miles and 1.5 miles downstream from where Bickel's pickup was located in the Edness Wilkins State Park.
"He has been positively identified as Mr. Bickels," Shatto said.
The family has been notified, he added.
Rescue crews had been searching the river east of Casper for Bickels who was been missing since Saturday.
Bickels, 65, was last seen at the Big Lots store at 2:45 p.m. Saturday, and was to have met his daughters later that afternoon. He never arrived.
He apparently took his to Labrador retrievers for a walk at Edness Kimball Wilkins State Park, Natrona County emergency management coordinator Lt. Stewart Anderson said earlier Tuesday.
"We still think he was loading the dogs, or back at his vehicle at the southwest end of the park," he said. "We think the dog may have bolted after something, rabbit or whatever, and/or got caught in the river and he went after them."
Anderson did not suspect foul play.
The remains of one of his dogs had been found in the river, he said.
The search began in earnest on Sunday with ground, water and air support, Anderson said.
On Monday and Tuesday, most of the searching was done with the county's airboat.
Ice on the river hindered visibility earlier in the week, but that cleared up making the search easier, Anderson said.