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'Not a day I don't wake up and think about this case': Two Rivers Police Chief discusses Vue search

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Posted at 5:49 PM, Apr 10, 2024

TWO RIVERS (NBC 26) — It has been 50 days since Elijah Vue was reported missing. In a one-on-one, I sat down with Two Rivers Police Chief Ben Meinnert to talk about the latest on the search.

  • Police Chief Ben Meinnert says no Elijah was abducted or just walked away.
  • He says they have combed through 10,000 videos and more than 1,500 tips.
  • Chief Meinnert says they're still focused on areas close to Two Rivers as they search

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

I’ve followed this story since the day [Elijah Vue] disappeared, and now in a one-on-one, the Two Rivers Chief of Police tells me what they're learning from certain evidence.

Chief Ben Meinnert says his department has prioritized the search since it began on February 20th.

“No matter how much you prepare, you're just not ready for it,” said Chief Meinnert. “Even if this case goes on forever, it's not going to leave any of us. There's not a day I don't wake up and think about this case."

He says the massive effort involving local state and federal resources is in his words "uncovering all of Manitowoc County."

The chief says they've combed through 10-thousand video files and thousands of tips, all vetted.

“To this point, there's no evidence to suggest Elijah was abducted,” he told me. “And we have no evidence that he simply walked off.”

“You mentioned statistics,” I asked. “Where does that leave you looking?”

“I think through research training efforts, there's obvious areas we're concerned with,” Chief Meinnert said. “More immediate areas than those further outside areas. And tips and leads that we have."

The chief didn't offer specifics about those areas. But he says they want more tips and any information that could help.

"How long can the department exhaust all of their resources on this case?” I asked the chief.

"I don't think you can ever stop searching,” he said. “That's the truth of the matter."

The search he calls overwhelming, frustrating for his officers. But a case you can't give up on.

"Let's say there was something to break today or an answer to come, laying your head down at night, how would that feel for you?” I said.

“It would probably be the first good sleep I got,” replied Chief Meinnert.

Chief Meinnert told me the community's support in Two Rivers has been incredibly helpful and he encourages people to contact their tip line.

That number is 844-267-6648.