Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Reward offered in Klusch case

November 15, 2011
By DEANNE JOHNSON - Staff Writer , Morning Journal News
LISBON - Desperate to know what has happened to their loved one, the family of Gerald George Klusch announced Monday they are offering a $20,000 reward for new information or leads.
Since Klusch's disappearance on about Sept. 29, the county sheriff's department, volunteers, members of the Search Rescue, Recovery and Response and K-9 units have searched the properties owned by Klusch west of Lisbon. A plane flew above his properties on a clear day looking for any signs of Klusch or a disturbance in the area on Oct. 6. A dump area off Lisbon-Dungannon Road was searched. Sheriff's detectives have interviewed Klusch's employee, whom he dropped off at home nearby before he disappeared.
Chief Deputy Allen Haueter said the "splattering" of blood in Klusch's pickup was confirmed as his by the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. The white pickup had been found at 3 p.m., Sept. 30, damaged and sitting on his property near Beacon Light Road about six hours after the family had reported Klusch did not come home overnight.
At this point, deputies are hitting dead ends in the investigation.
"We feel bad for the family," Haueter said "Our hearts break for them. We just don't know where to turn anymore. We're hoping this money will bring someone out of the woodwork. Money talks."
The family hopes the person who may know something will not wait too long. They have set a deadline of Dec. 19 for someone to contact Detective Andy Sweeney at the sheriff's department, 424-7255, with any reliable new information leading to the return or location of Klusch.
Leah Klusch, his wife, said she hopes the deadline creates a sense of urgency. She said they hope for any information, someone who saw him that day or remember seeing anything in the area.
His daughter, Katherine Klusch, said she would like to know something before Christmas, adding this in never going to be a good Christmas without her father.
The family members talked about each of their relationships with Gerald Klusch. His son, Ryan, was also his business partner and the two spoke probably daily, according to Leah Klusch. Katherine Klusch, who is 24, had just recently moved back home while she attended school. Leah Klusch said Gerald "was so tickled she was at home."
With emotions welling up, Katherine Klusch pointed out her daddy will not be there to walk her down the aisle one day or to see his future grandchildren.
"It feels like a Law and Order episode," Katherine Klusch said, adding it is one of her favorite shows. "This is what you see on TV. You never think this is going to happen to you or your family. You think your family is invincible."
Ryan Klusch said he would like to encourage anyone who knows anything, who may be holding back information to think about how they would feel to lose a family member and then step forward. Katherine Klusch added it is "scary" to know someone can disappear in broad daylight.
"This is a burden we are carrying as a family and individually," Leah Klusch said. "It's getting heavier and heavier. People don't disappear off the face of the earth. They don't just evaporate."
Additional information about the case is available at a website created by the family www.findjerry.net or the facebook site www.facebook.com/GeraldKlusch.

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