Missing hunter is a U.P. mystery

MENOMINEE COUNTY, Mich (WBUP) — It has been more than four weeks since the Menominee County Sheriff’s Office urged the public to be on the lookout for a missing hunter.

In 15 minutes, what started as a fun weekend of deer hunting, turned into a desperate search for Vladimir Ivanovic.

Recently, scent dogs and kayakers continued the search for the 58-year-old carpenter and father near the campground where he was last seen.

After setting up deer camp with two members of his family, Vladimir Ivanovic from Chicago headed towards the pay station and outhouses at the Cedar River North State Forest Campground.

That was the last time he was seen.

After 15 minutes, a frantic search by family members for the 58-year-old man who was in a black thermal jacket, gray thermal pants and crocs who only had his wallet, keys, and headlamp was underway.

The Menominee County Sheriff’s Department was called in to do a grid search and check the riverbank using scent dogs, horses, drones, and a helicopter.

Vladimir has been hunting in the Upper Peninsula for over 30 years and was at this particular campsite for the last 14.

Authorities believe he may have gotten lost and fallen into the shallow river, but the family says the meticulous carpenter is cautious of rivers.

Vladimir is an avid fisherman and hunter, who is very experienced in being outdoors and lovingly called the “Camp Father,” for how he would always enforce safety precautions with those around him.

Although the area he went missing does not see much crime, his daughter is worried that this may be a crime and not an accident.

Vladimir’s crocs were found three days later in an area that was heavily searched and were found next to each other, which is very unlikely that they floated together through all the logjams. Tests with other crocs found that they would not float together in this way. The family thinks they could have also been disposed out there to throw off the search.

The area the shoes were found was south of the campsite, but a croc shoeprint on freshly fallen snow was found north of the campsite which is where search dogs have also found a scent trail for Vladimir.

The Menominee County Sheriff Kenny Marks is hoping the local community can help keep an eye on the river and area near the campground for a body or clothing in the river or near the shore.

The family is offering up to $25,000 to find any signs of Vladimir, his belongings, or to pay a ransom so they can see the man who paved the way for the family to be strong.

Vladimir Ivanovic is 5’11”, 195 pounds, with green eyes and gray hair.

His daughter added that campers, hikers, and hunters should be abundantly cautious as they head outdoors, because any possible suspect knew to come out at night and during hunting season when people will tend to have more cash on hand as well as be in winter gear that tends to be more expensive.

To assist the family in search efforts, contact Ivanovic’s daughter at (708) 595 – 9308.

To report tips or information on the disappearance of Vladimir Ivanovic call the Menominee County Sheriff’s Office at (906) 863 – 4441.