Divers search gravel pit pond at Petersen Farm for Kazmerzak

Local law enforcement officials overlook members of the Story County Sheriff's Department search and rescue dive team Thursday as they scour a gravel pit pond in hopes that they may locate missing Hampton Man Ethan Kazmerzak. After more than four hours in the water, nothing was found. (Photos by Jeff Forward, Hampton Chronicle.)

Divers from the Story County Sheriff's Department confer after scouring the bottom of the pond Thursday morning. As of 12:30 p.m., no sign of Kazmerzak or his car had been found. (Photos by Jeff Forward, Hampton Chronicle.)

Members of Ethan Kazmerzak's family - including his parents, April Hemmes and Tom Kazmerzak - await any word from divers searching the gravel pit pond at a headquarters on Nettle Avenue Thursday morning. (Photo by Jeff Forward, Hampton Chronicle.)

Visit our Local Video Section of the website for an interview with Hampton Police Chief Bob Schaefer at the pond.

Search and rescue divers from the Story County Sheriff's Department were scouring a large gravel pit pond on Thursday at the Petersen Farm on 190th Street in hopes of finding missing local man Ethan Kazmerzak or his vehicle. 

The six-person dive team from Story County was called in by Franklin County law enforcement agencies to help search the gravel pit pond, which was the site of a party where Kazmerzak was last seen at about 12 a.m. Sept. 15. 

Franklin County Sheriff Larry Richtsmeier and Hampton police Chief Bob Schaefer as well as multiple other officers from both agencies were at the pond as the dive team searched the murky, plant-filled waters. At a headquarters on Nettle Avenue, north of 190th Street, Emergency Management Commission Coordinator Thomas Craighton was with Kazmerzak's parents - April Hemmes and Tom Kazmerzak - as well as two other relatives awaiting any possible news from divers.

Schaefer said the dive team was called in to make sure that Kazmerzak was not in the pond and to "cover all the bases" in the search.

The dive team cruised along the bottom of the pond, working their way through underwater plant growth and dark water in attempt to locate Kazmerzak or his car. 

Schaefer did note that authorities had searched the perimeter of the pond for signs of Kazmerzak's car maybe driving into the pond, but that they did not find any indication that his car had accidentally gone into the pond and do not believe that occurred.

"We're just checking the pond here behind the residence where Ethan was last seen just to make sure that there isn't anything there," Schaefer said. "They've already been out here probably for about three hours. First of all, they did sonar to check places. Basically now, they're checking the shoreline where they could have been last at."

Schaefer said there was apparently a party at the pond which originated at a rental house off 190th Street that has access roads to the pond. Schaefer added that there were no new leads in the investigation and authorities were asking for help from anyone who may have seen Kazmerzak or his vehicle - a silver 2006 Volkswagen Jetta with Iowa license plates  AUZ 382.

Kazmerzak's cell phone was last used at about 12:30 a.m. Sept. 15 and has not been used since then, said Richtsmeier. 

Anyone with information about Kazmerzak's location is urged to call the Hampton Police Department at (641) 456-2529.