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Missing missionary pilot is Waseca native serving in West Africa

Jeremy Krause, of Stewartville, holds out hope that someone has information or a connection that will lead to his missing brother.

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Pictured are Jerry Krause and his wife, Gina. Jerry Krause, formerly of Waseca, went missing April 7 while flying over the west coast of Africa.
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Jeremy Krause, of Stewartville, holds out hope that someone has information or a connection that will lead to his missing brother.

A missionary pilot serving in Mali, Jerry Krause hasn't been heard from since April 7 when he was flying over Africa's west coast. Jerry Krause, who grew up in Waseca and has served as a missionary pilot in Africa since 1988, was the lone occupant in the refurbished Beech 1900C aircraft that he was flying from South Africa to Mali, said his younger brother Jeremy Krause.

Jerry Krause's last communication was with local authorities as he came near São Tomé, an island where he was planning to refuel before being redirected to the mainland because of weather concerns, Krause said.

No signs of the aircraft have been found in air, water and ground searches of the area, he said.

The black box transponder on the plane also hasn't gone off as it would have in a crash, making it more difficult to locate the plane and also leading the family and others to believe there wasn't a crash, he said.

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"We believe he landed in hostile territory," Krause said. "We believe he landed and was taken captive."

The family set up a website, findjerry.com , and a Facebook page to share information about the search and hopeful recovery.

"I hope we can get more information out there," Krause said. "Maybe someone has contacts with governmental people in that area. We want to get the word out to help find information on a plane that went down or suspicious activity at the scene."

It's the best they can do without the ability to search for him themselves, he said.

"We've been working with U.S. Embassy contacts, but we can't do much over here," Krause said.

Jerry Krause, who is in his mid-50s, grew up Waseca and graduated from Waseca High School, his brother said. He and his wife, Gina live in Mali. Their three college-age children are in Illinois, Krause said.

After studying aviation at LeTourneu University in Longview, Texas, Jerry Krause began serving as a missionary in 1988 in Zaire. After an uprising there in the mid 1990s he was transferred to Mali, his brother said.

He is a former member of the Mission Aviation Fellowship, but when the group pulled out of Mali in 2009 Jerry Krause stayed on with Sahel Aviation to continue serving there, according to information from the Find Jerry website.

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"He's an extremely good pilot," Krause said.

As a missionary pilot he does medical transfers, transports missionaries and government workers as well as some commercial flights to raise funds for the missionaries, he said.

On April 7 he was bringing a refurbished plane back to Mali to be able to continue with that work, Krause said.

Related Topics: INTERNETAVIATION
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