August 5, 2012
Rural Marshall County - At about 1:00pm on Saturday, August 4th, 2012, the Marshall County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to the Central Iowa Coon Hunters Association, located at 2293 Zeller Ave., Marshalltown in regards to the missing man.
Preston Lee Luft, of Carroll, Iowa, along with many other individuals, was participating in a coon hound competition event located along the Iowa River valley late Friday evening August 3rd and into the early morning hours of August 4th. The event involved coon hunters and their dogs in a competition involving the treeing of raccoons and scoring of results.
It is believed Luft was last seen at approximately 2:00am on August 4th, when he was attempting to retrieve his dog and split off from other contestants, but he never returned to the Coon Hunters Lodge. When it was realized that Luft was not accounted for, emergency personnel were summoned to the scene.
Officials and volunteers conducted various searches on land and water throughout the afternoon and in to the evening, including the use of watercraft, ATV's, K-9's, volunteers on foot and horseback, and a helicopter, Mercy Air One out of Des Moines.
At about 11:05pm, a small group of coon hunters out searching on their own, found Luft deceased, in a dense woodland area on the north side of the river, approximately 1 Â½ miles northwest of the unincorporated community of Quarry.
Marshall County Medical Examiner Dr. Mark Bethel was summoned to the scene.
Authorities conducted a recovery operation of the victim which was hampered by the dense underbrush and downed trees in the area. The recovery was concluded at about 2:00am Sunday morning, August 5th at which time family members were given notification. The official cause of death is not immediately known and the incident remains under investigation by the Medical Examiner's Office and the Marshall County Sheriff's Office.
Agencies assisting in the search included the Legrand Fire Department, the Marshall County Sheriff's Office, the Tama Fire Department, the Marshalltown Fire Department, Marshall County Emergency Management, K-9 Connection and the numerous volunteers including visiting and local area coon hunters
About Marshall County Sheriff's Office
The Marshall County, Iowa Sheriff's Office is headed up by Sheriff Ted G. Kamatchus. Sheriff Kamatchus is committed to keeping communities and neighborhoods safe in Marshall County.
For additional information or a sample copy, contact:
Chief Deputy Burt Tecklenburg
Marshall County Sheriff's Office
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