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ROSICLARE — As the search for a boater missing since Thursday night continues in Hardin County, his fiancee is pleading with the public for help searching, and for prayers.

Law enforcement and volunteers have been combing the Ohio River for days, but they’ve yet to find any signs of Michael Rodgers, 30, of Rosiclare.

A representative of the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office told The Southern that law enforcement officials and volunteers are still working long hours in an attempt to locate Rodgers. She said there had been no change of status in the search as of Monday afternoon; the sheriff was unavailable because of ongoing efforts. 

Rodgers' fiancee, Debra Lane, said Rodgers and four other men, in a single boat, entered the Ohio River at the boat ramp at Rosiclare park about 10 p.m. and crossed over to the Kentucky side of the river. 

The 16-foot-long johnboat they were fishing in capsized, and the other four men were able to swim to shore. But Rodgers has not been seen since then. The first call was made to police about 10:50 p.m., she said. The boat was later found in the water, but there was no sign of Rodgers. The growing search team includes sonar boats, rescue boats and dogs, she said via Facebook Messenger on Monday evening.

When he left Thursday, Rodgers was wearing a black T-shirt with a New England Patriots football logo on it, light-colored blue jeans and black shoes. She said he has the following tattoos: a skunk and skull with flames on his right arm, the letters TFT and a red devil on his left arm, a wolf on his chest, two skulls on his back and a purple peace sign on his left leg.

Lane and Rodgers, who are planning to wed next year, have an 8-month-old son together.

The search was temporarily suspended on Saturday afternoon due to inclement weather, and resumed after the storm passed, according to updates on the Hardin County Sheriff's Office's Facebook page. The department posted Sunday morning that the search for Rodgers “has continued in full force.” No trespassing signs have been posted at the levee, and access to the park past the levee is restricted to emergency personnel. Trespassers will be issued a citation.

“We ask that the community cooperate fully in our efforts to bring Michael Rodgers home,” the department’s post continued.

Anyone wishing to aid in the search must first seek the approval of the sheriff’s office or county emergency management agency by calling 618-287-2271.

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molly.parker@thesouthern.com

618-351-5079

On Twitter: @MollyParkerSI ​

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Molly Parker is general assignment and investigative projects reporter for The Southern Illinoisan.

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