Local Family Seeks Help in Finding Man Missing for 3 Weeks
Updated: Nov 5
By Joe Morey
A local man, Aaron Johnson, 34 years of age, has been missing now since Oct. 11 and his wife and family are seeking the public’s help in locating him. His wife, Amanda Thayer, an LCO tribal member, said Aaron was dropped off by his truck in 6-Mile around 6 pm on Oct. 11 and no one has seen or heard from him since. The truck is also missing.
According to the Missing Person’s report, Aaron is 5'7" and weighs 220 lbs. He has blue eyes and dark blonde hair that he wears shaved. He has many tattoos on his head, neck, arms, back and stomach.
Amanda told LCO News that she has known Aaron for seven years and, “We were married on May 23 of this year. We were living in New Post until Housing placed us in a temporary home in Poppletown.”
Amanda explained that Aaron has been struggling with addiction and working really hard at staying sober since he was released from prison in December of 2019. She said he’s been working long hours on Potter’s Farm in Exeland and the stress of that and bills and dealing with his addiction has caused him to suffer from depression lately.
“It’s not anything he has been to the doctor for or diagnosed with, but I could tell when talking to him that he was different lately and just angry and depressed,” Amanda noted.
She added they both work long hours which caused a strain in their marriage which lead to many communication issues.
Amanda said that Aaron called her at work on the evening of Oct. 10 and they had got into an argument about bills. Aaron told her he was going to stay at some friends and the following day, those friends dropped him off at Six Mile to pick up his truck that was left on the side of the road with a brake line issue. They were the last ones to see Aaron or the truck at about 6 pm.
The truck is a 2001, Maroon Dodge Dakota with LCO Tribal Plates B631. Amanda said despite the brake issues, the truck was still drivable.
Local authorities didn’t really take interest in Amanda’s claims of him missing until a week ago, and she believes this is because of his drug problems. She said Aaron wasn't a daily drug user, but influenced by the wrong crowd in the past months since July. She noted that he relapsed about once a month.
“They figured he was just out on a binge or something, but he never did this,” Amanda explained. “Aaron also speaks to his mother everyday on the phone and has not made a phone call to her since Oct 10th.”
Amanda said just last week Rusk County was able to ping his phone and the last known time and location was on Sunday, Oct. 11, and they searched that area in the Blue Hills near Bruce and Ladysmith and found nothing. Amanda added that a Rusk County deputy, Matt Lychek grew up with Aaron and has been really helpful. She said the deputy agrees with her that this is just not like Aaron.
Amanda also said that just today, Oct. 30, the WI State Patrol started doing flyovers with a plane in the last known areas where Aaron and his truck may have been. One area included Stoney Hill Road area near Exeland.
Amanda added that the deputy indicated to her that the last people Aaron was with have been interviewed multiple times and they are not suspected in any way of his disappearance.
LCO Sergeant Dominic Ciatti told LCO News that right from the beginning of Aaron’s disappearance, the LCO PD has been following up every lead and doing multiple interviews. He said it may have seemed to Amanda that we weren’t acting quickly, but it just took some time to gather up information from the interviews, last known contacts and his phone being pinged.
Ciatti said all this week with the nice weather they would be doing more air grid searches with the state patrol plane from the LCO Reservation down towards Ladysmith and Bruce where his phone was pinged.
“We are asking for the public’s help. If you know anything or have any information, please give us a call. We are following up on all leads,” Ciatti stated. He added that foul play is not suspected in Aaron's disappearance.
Amanda said Aaron was an excellent stepfather to her children and they are missing him. She said she tells the children not go give up and that he will be home again soon.
"Aaron was very dedicated and loved to spend his free time with the kids and family. My sister and brother accepted Aaron as a brother and we all miss him dearly and truly just want him to come home safe," Amanda added.
Aaron spends a lot of time in wooded areas, lakes, rivers, back roads, dirt roads in the Radisson Area, Rusk County, Bruce, Ladysmith, LCO or surrounding counties. His wife, mother and loved ones are concerned about his health, state of mind and life.
Anyone with information on Aaron’s disappearance should contact either the LCO Police Department at 715-634-8350.