Becker said at 12:49 a.m., Marion Communications received a call from Mary Cunningham of Walton saying she and William Seidle were on a boat in the reservoir that was rapidly taking on water.
Becker and Deputy Jimmy Philpot went with emergency lights to the reservoir from Marion. Becker said he went to the dam and Philpot went to Hillsboro Cove.
Becker said Cunningham responded from the boat that she could see four green lights and also the emergency lights.
At 1:03 a.m., Becker said Cunningham told dispatch she could no longer see lights, and a minute later contact with her was lost.
Becker said that he, Deputy Dan Kinning, Kansas Highway Patrol Officer Ben Gardner and Corps of Engineers officers Tracey Robb and Neal Whitaker took a Corps boat piloted by Whitaker into the high waves “to search for the boat or survivors.”
Becker had a nightvision monocular to search. He had called in other agencies with personnel to search.
The Life Team helicopter landed at Hillsboro Cove, and took Philpot on board with a thermal imager to search, he said.
The KHP flew a fix wing aircraft from the Kansas City area to search “for the boat or any surviviors,” he said.
At 4:01 a.m., Becker said, after consulting with KHP, Corps personell, and Kansas Wildlife & Parks personnel, he called off the search until 7 a.m.
Becker said a man was found then who might have shortened the search. Whitaker found a 1991 Chevrolet pickup truck, registered to Seidle, with the man asleep in the truck cab. He said a 6-year-old boy was asleep in a tent.
Becker said the man asked about the missing couple.
“I took the man to my vehicle to go over what had taken place,” Becker said. “The man told me he was John Smith, and lived out in the country between Eagle and Falcon. When I asked for an address, the man said he lived in the country, and did not have an address.”
Becker said “John” seemed to become agitated under questioning. He said the man told him that when the missing couple launched the boat, it did not go well because the steering was not working, and the motor would not drop down.
Becker said the plan was for the couple to go to their camping site in the Marion Cove overflow area.
Becker said, “John told me” William and Mary “started calling him saying they were in trouble. John said he told them to call 911 so they could track them. John said he did not call anyone because it was not his thing.
“At 5:50 hours, Gary Evans called Marion Communication to report the persons from the capsized boat were fine, at his house, and needed a ride to their campsite.”
“While speaking with William and Mary,” Becker said, “I learned John Smith was really John Adde. Once we arrived at the campsite, John Adde was arrested for an outstanding Newton Police Department warrant. William and Mary were reunited with their grandson.”