Patrol returns to river in search for missing man

Larry French hugs Jennifer Riley as he and his wife prepare to leave the sandy banks of the Missouri River at the Noren Access. At right is Randy Chugg's cousin, Amanda. The Frenches are the grandparents of Chugg and came from Idaho to be with the family through this time. Friends and family were at the river's edge Thursday to be near as the Missouri Highway Patrol conducted a search of the Missouri River using sonar and dragging procedures. Chugg reportedly jumped from the pedestrian walkway last Thursday. Officers have been in the water off and on in the interim searching for him.

Larry French hugs Jennifer Riley as he and his wife prepare to leave the sandy banks of the Missouri River at the Noren Access. At right is Randy Chugg's cousin, Amanda. The Frenches are the grandparents of Chugg and came from Idaho to be with the family through this time. Friends and family were at the river's edge Thursday to be near as the Missouri Highway Patrol conducted a search of the Missouri River using sonar and dragging procedures. Chugg reportedly jumped from the pedestrian walkway last Thursday. Officers have been in the water off and on in the interim searching for him. Photo by Julie Smith.

With some family members watching, the search in the Missouri River resumed Thursday for a Jefferson City man who may have jumped from the Missouri River bridge a week ago.

But by the end of the day, neither the Missouri Highway Patrol’s Water Patrol division nor Jefferson City police reported finding anything new.

Police on Monday identified the missing man as Randy C. Chugg, 21, of the 1100 block of West McCarty Street.

No one has reported hearing from him since last Thursday, when he was seen some minutes after arguing with his girlfriend and walking away from the apartment.

Police also said this week they continue to investigate “the incident as a missing person case,” even though they said his girlfriend — whom officials have not named — reported last Thursday that Chugg had “indicated that he was going to jump off the bridge” and that, some minutes later, she “drove across the bridge and witnessed Chugg standing on the pedestrian walkway. When (she) parked at the Noren Access and went to speak to him, she could not locate him.”

Police were called about 4:43 p.m. last Thursday, and found some of Chugg’s personal items “on the pedestrian walkway.”

Police quickly got help from the Jefferson City Fire Department and the Highway Patrol in searching the river last week, but found nothing and called off their search because of darkness.

Weather conditions and ice and debris in the river blocked their getting back into the Missouri until this week.

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