Former Army Ranger reported missing in Belize - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Former Army Ranger reported missing in Belize

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Shane Leesman, pictured here, went missing in April. Shane Leesman, pictured here, went missing in April.
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(WTVM) -

 

*Update*

As of May 6, local Belize newspaper reports the United States military is now involved in the search. The U.S. Southern Command has sent two helicopters to assist. However, he Belize Coast Guard has found the clothing Leesman was wearing at the time of his disappearance.

*Original story*

A former Army Ranger who trained at Fort Benning is missing in Central America. Shane Leesman's mother is convinced he is still alive, and she is holding out hope that he will be found in a search effort.

"That's all he's thought about. His country and what he can do for it," says Dee Dee Leesman, Shane's mother.

Leesman previously survived a helicopter crash which killed his teammates and his captain. But now, Leesman is nowhere to be found.

Leesman is no longer in the Army, and was on vacation in Belize with his army buddy. They went kayaking, but rough waters capsized the small boat.

A second wave hit him so hard, that it knocked him completely off of the kayak

And although his friend made it ashore, Leesman vanished. That was more than four days ago, and Dee Dee says the Belize Coast Guard still hasn't been able to track down her son.

"It's waiting that's the hardest. And not knowing," says Dee Dee.

She says the searchers in Belize have few resources and no air support, so she's paying for the search out of pocket.

"I got a hold of the helicopter company there, and they charge $1,125 an hour to search."

She is frustrated our government hasn't offered any help. Dee Dee is still hoping for the miracle call from her 29-year-old son.

"I know if anybody can do it, he can do it, and he'll probably come home laughing at me, because the last thing he said to me is mom, don't try to write me. Don't try to call me, you know I'm coming home."

With his training as a Ranger, Dee Dee believes her son may have been able to swim to one of the hundreds of small alcoves which need to be searched by air. She has set up a crowd funding site to help for search costs. Click here to find out more.

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