3 boys missing from Dodge County

Authorities searching on a mine near Iron Ridge
3 boys missing from Dodge County
Posted at 6:53 AM, Jul 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-11 14:09:49-04

UPDATE: The three boys have been found safe. Read the latest here.



Authorities in Dodge County are searching the area around an abandoned iron mine for three boys that went missing Sunday night. 

According to Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt, 16-year old Tate Rose, 16-year old Zachary Heron and 15-year old Samuel Lein were last seen Sunday evening. 

The sheriff said the three boys are from the Mayville area. 

"The parents were out actively looking for their children, and at 9:45 p.m. they reported them missing so we could start the search as well," Schmidt said. 

The sheriff said officials found the boys' bikes around 1 a.m. near Neda Rd./Ore Rd. in the Town of Hubbard. 

The nearby Neda Mine, an abandoned iron mine last active in 1915, contains roughly four miles of tunnels inside. Schmidt said the area is also heavily wooded and includes some rough terrain.

Right now, there's no indication any of the boys are hurt or trapped. 

Schmidt said the sheriff's department and the Iron Ridge Fire Department are leading the search efforts, but fire departments from surrounding municipalities are being called in to assist. That includes the Madison Fire Department and Milwaukee Fire Department, who are both bringing heavy rescue teams. 

"We're doing a lot of walking, we're doing a grid pattern search throughout the area, and fire departments are working hard conducting that search," Schmidt said. "We will be going inside the caves. That's why we brought in the heavy rescue teams." 

Schmidt said the DNR has also been asked to provide planes that can be used to capture thermal images from above. 

"We used our drone to try and get some photos from overhead and that wasn't successful because of how many trees there are above the area," the sheriff said. 

Gretchen Meyer, Manager of the UW-Milwaukee Field Station, said the Neda Mine was donated to the university and is currently run by UWM. 

She said all entrances and roads into the mine are locked and gated. 

"We did not find any evidence anyone had gotten through our locked gates," Meyer said. 

"The kids might have found an entrance we're not aware of," she said. 

Schmidt said local kids have been known to gather in the area of the mine -- even though they're not supposed to. 

"We do know that even though it's posted as no trespassing, it is an area where these kids tend to go and hang out from time to time," the sheriff said. "We do our best to keep the kids out of there." 

Meyer said the Neda Mine tends to maintain a relatively cool temperature of 50 degrees year round. But she also said it's very humid. 

Meyer said it's very dark inside the mine. 

"If they're in the mine, we just don't know if they were prepared for the cool temperatures. Or if they have flashlights with them," she said.