75-year-old trapped for 1 1/2 days in mud
Brooks Beeton, a Shawmar Oil employee, was out checking gas and oil pumps Saturday when he heard someone yelling and saw him waving his hands from the ditch.
When he stopped, he was surprised to find his Lincolnville neighbor, 75-year-old David Schneider Sr.
Schneider was lying in the ditch and unable to get up.
“I’ll be right back,” Beeton said. “I have to get my mud boots.”
When Beeton arrived at his home, he noticed a sheriff’s vehicle parked at Schneider’s home. It had been found unlocked with a TV set on. His 2015 GMC Acadia was missing.
The deputy, Travis Wilson, went with Beeton back to the scene, about 150 yards west of US-56/77 on 270th Rd. They picked up Schneider, placed him in Beeton’s truck, and took him home to 605 Wichita St.
Beeton said the dirt road Schneider had been on was firm and drivable by Saturday after Thursday’s heavy rainfall. Beeton had spotted a vehicle almost a mile day but had not gone down the road because it was muddy.
On Saturday, he had gone around the vehicle, not recognizing it as Schneider’s, and had come upon him in a ditch.
It appeared that the sport-utility vehicle had gotten stuck Friday morning and Schneider had walked almost to the highway when his knees gave out and he slipped and fell. He lay there all day and night until about 1:45 p.m. Saturday, when Beeton found him.
Lincolnville first responders and Tampa ambulance were dispatched to Schneider’s home after Schneider was found.
Marion ambulance arrived to take him to St. Luke Hospital and later to Newton Medical Center.
Schneider was reported missing at 10:38 p.m. Friday, after his son, David Schneider Jr. of Kansas City, telephoned to ask that deputies check on him. He said he had not heard from his father in three days.
According to monitored transmissions, dispatchers notified a deputy of the request but did not broadcast a missing person’s report until 11:59 a.m. the next day.
Asked to explain the delay, Undersheriff David Huntley said: “I wasn’t on and don’t know what was going on.”
Both Huntley and, earlier, Sheriff Robert Craft, who was unavailable Tuesday, insisted that an attempt to locate Schneider was broadcast on Friday even though such a transmission was not recorded by the newspaper’s monitoring equipment until the one recorded at noon the next day.
After that report was broadcast, deputy Travis Wilson radioed that he was going to Lincolnville to met with family members and interviewing neighbors along Wichita St. near Schneider’s house when Beeton arrived and said he had found Schneider.
Schneider reportedly had mosquito bites and sore knees and was very thirsty when he was rescued.
He remained in the hospital Monday. In a call to him, he sounded weak.
“I’m not over it yet,” he said. “I won’t be over it for a while.”
Schneider moved to Lincolnville in 1968 and served two stints as mayor. He retired as a Kansas Power and Light agent in 2002.
Last modified July 11, 2019