Paraglider missing for more than a week leaves behind 15-year-old daughter

Kenny Loudermilk first went missing Oct. 26 after taking his paraglider out for a trip around the Missouri River at sunset. (Source: KMOV)
Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 4:36 PM EDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV/Gray News) – A paraglider in Missouri is still missing after officials believe he landed in a river and did not resurface.

Kenny Loudermilk, 35, has been missing for more than a week. He disappeared on Oct. 26 after taking his paraglider out for a trip around the Missouri River at sunset.

Paragliding has been Loudermilk’s passion for the past few years.

Kevin Baker, Loudermilk’s brother-in-law, said they are still trying to figure out what happened.

“With the leaves turning, he wanted to be part of and really see the leaves turning with the trees, and just the change in the fall weather,” Baker said.

A Missouri State Highway Patrol spokesperson said they are now in recovery mode after days of searching the water for Loudermilk. Witnesses said they saw his body go underwater and not resurface.

So far, MSHP’s Marine Operations Division has used sonar imaging and dragging equipment to search approximately six miles of the river from where he is believed to have entered the water.

Neither Loudermilk nor any of his paragliding equipment has been found.

The sudden loss is especially difficult for Loudermilk’s 15-year-old daughter, Kylie, who lost her mother when she was 3 years old.

Kylie is now living with her grandparents.

“He was amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better dad,” Kylie said. “He would always take me on vacations, and he would love to surprise me and try to make it as best as he could, and he would just make it full of adventures. I miss him being here and us having the time that we had together.”

Baker said Loudermilk was always safe and prepared when paragliding, so he believes there was some sort of equipment failure prior to taking flight, causing Loudermilk to end up in the river.

A GoFundMe page created by the family is raising money to support Kylie through her private school education as well as fund the ongoing search efforts.

“I think that we should keep searching and keep searching until we find him and bring him home,” Kylie said. “I think that we will find him.”

MSHP says there is no timeline for when the search may stop, but they may begin scaling back their hours each day.