Manhunt continues in Lake area

A massive manhunt for a Columbia man is focused on the Coffman Bend area of Lake of the Ozarks.

According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, more than 50 officers and canine units from the patrol, Morgan and Camden county sheriffs’ departments are doing a door-to-door search for Brian Adkinson, 23.

He faces multiple charges in the kidnapping of his former MU student girlfriend in Caldwell County, inflicting injury and terrorizing her before dropping her off at the University Hospital last Sunday morning.

Highway Patrol Sgt. Paul Reinsch said Thursday that even though Adkinson has eluded officers for more than four days, they have reason to believe he is still in the Coffman Bend area of Morgan County.

Reinsch said the Highway Patrol is unaware of any connection that Adkinson has at the Lake.

Shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday, officers were called to a residence for a reported break-in. As officers arrived, they heard a boat leaving the dock area of the home. Water Patrol officers spotted Adkinson about 5 p.m. in a boat near Little Buffalo Cove. When they approached the vessel, Adkinson abandoned the boat and ran into a nearby wooded area.

Officers from the various agencies began an unsuccessful search of the heavily wooded Lake shore, including use of a Highway Patrol helicopter equipped with thermal imaging.

On Thursday, Reinsch said investigators have reason to believe the suspect is still in the Coffman Bend area. Roadblocks have been set up on all roads leading in and out of the area, and officers are stopping and searching all boats passing between 65- and 70-mile markers of the Lake’s main channel.

“The residents in the area have been very cooperative in allowing us to search every building within the perimeter,” Reinsch said. “However, they need to consider him armed and dangerous. Residents should not approach any strangers, but immediately call us if they see anything suspicious.”

Although FBI officers are not taking part in the ground search, Reinsch said the federal agency is very involved in the investigation.

In addition to the charges stemming from the kidnapping, Adkinson also has a long list of other run-ins with the law including charges for bad checks, drunk driving, driving while suspended, first degree burglary, forcible rape, sexual intercourse by compulsion, and deviate sexual assault.


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