A Cassopolis man who has been missing since the Fourth of July—is missing no more.
Charles Wagner was naked, semi-conscious, and badly dehydrated when he was discovered on Saturday afternoon.
But Wagner was, and is, very much alive.
“Talking with family members this morning, this morning he was talking with his mother. She said he’s doing good, he’s reacting, his spirits are up and that,” said Chief Frank Williams, Jr. of the Cassopolis Police Department.
According to Chief Williams, Wagner is listed in stable condition at a Kalamazoo hospital.
Wagner was found on Saturday afternoon, shortly after 12 p.m.
The discovery came in a very public place, just north of a local landmark—the Log Cabin Museum.
Wagner was clearly visible from a wooden public viewing deck that overlooks Stone Lake—visible to anyone who happened to look straight down about 25-feet.
“He (the first police officer on the scene) says ‘Charlie, is that you?’ And he got a response, ‘yeah.’”
Wagner was lying on the bank of Stone Lake, about two feet from the water’s edge. Wagner was said to be bruised, semi-conscious, and badly dehydrated.
The bank was so steep that officials used a boat to remove Wagner from the scene.
“Thank God he’s alive,” said Julie Vite of the nearby Tastee Twirl Restaurant.
Vite and others at the restaurant watched emergency personnel work the scene on Saturday.
Julie Vite says that, given the heat, there’s no way the man who had been missing since the Fourth of July, had spent the entire 12 days in the spot where he was found.
“Somebody picked him up, he was challenged, mentally challenged, and then brought him back, threw him in the weeds, naked to die,” Vite said.
Others in the community aren’t so quick to conclude that foul play was involved—including Chief Williams.
“I just think that we just got to work with this and try to follow up as much as we can with any information until we can make that kind of decision,” said Chief Williams.
The chief won’t rule on the possibility of foul play until he has a chance to speak directly with Wagner.
Chief Williams does remind the public that any tips about Wagner’s recent whereabouts can be phoned in to Crime Stoppers at 800-342-STOP, or to the Cassopolis Police Department at 269-445-8100.