Search party combs Protection for missing priest

Dozens joined the search party in Protection on Thursday

PROTECTION, Kan. (KSNW) – On Thursday, dozens of family members and friends of a missing priest searched for the man who has been gone since the beginning of the month in Comanche County.

Marvin Reif, who has some mental health issues, walked away from a nursing home April 3.

“For me and my family, we just had to do one more thing,” said Duane Reif, Marvin’s brother. “If we don’t find anything, at least we know we tried.”

Duane said his brother was upset that he wasn’t able to attend their mother’s funeral in late March, and that may have contributed to Marvin’s decision to leave.

“You know, I don’t know,” said Duane. “I wish I knew what was on his mind that day when he left.”

About 75 friends and neighbors joined the search party this morning organized by Marvin’s siblings. The family was touched by the support.

“It’s just awesome to me,” said Duane. “You know, when I first started talking to everybody, I just looked out there and I thought, to me they looked like angels.”

One of those “angels,” Garrett Tindall, jumped at the chance to help a long-time friend.

“I work with Duane Reif personally on the fire department in Hoisington,” said Tindall. “I’ve known him all my life, and he’s a good friend, and it hurts to see that his brother is missing, and I really want to find him for him.”

Duane grew weary as the day wore on.

“I’m starting to think that we may not find him today,” he said, “but we’ve done all we could.”

Duane continues to hope for the best for his brother.

“Maybe somebody did pick him up and take him somewhere. We’re hoping that’s the case.”

The Comanche County sheriff says there have been some reports that Reif may have caught a ride with someone out of the county, but so far, they have no leads where he might have gone.

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