UPDATE: Body of missing Bradley Co. man found
UPDATE: A Bradley County father, whose son died of suicide, said the sheriff's office should have done more to help him. David Kapteina called 911 Saturday when he received a strange text message from his son Curtis and then discovered a suicide note. Kapteina reported his son missing, but said officers took too long to look for him.
David Kapteina said he knew right away that his son planned to take his life and he called 911 for help finding him. It was three days later when he found his son's body. He believes Curtis would still be alive if officers took his concerns seriously.
"I love you, dad." That's the text message David Kapteina received Saturday from his 31 year-old son, Curtis, who lives on the same property. Kapteina called police when Curtis texted again saying he'd left a letter behind to explain why he was missing. “They went into the woods about 50 yards. Maybe walked 20-50 yards that way. Walked 20-50 yards that way. They came back out and said well sir, the only thing we saw was animal prints and a lot of cobwebs,” said David Kapteina.
Kapteina said he wanted to help officers search the woods near his son's home, but said officers told him to stay back, treating the area like a crime scene. “They held our hands, and would not let us go in there. How's it feel you knowing your son is out there crying for help. And they are holding you back and won't let you go out there.”
Officers searched on and off for two days. “We are sitting here frustrated trying to figure out what to do. Hearing coyotes howling out in the woods. I knew Curtis was laying out there.”
On Monday morning, against police orders, Kapteina went into the woods on his own. He said he found his son's body ten minutes later. “He was 200 yards, maybe 200 yards into the woods.”
Kapteina believes his son wanted to be found. A spokesperson for the Bradley County Sheriff's Office did not want to speak on camera about the death investigation, which is still ongoing, but said in an email, "...multiple hours and considerable manpower resources were deployed in a search for Mr. Kapteina. Members of the BCSO patrol division, K9 units as well as the Bradley County Fire Department worked to cover multiple heavily wooded areas of concern." He added that the agency solicited help from the public, hoping for additional information that would help them find Curtis.
“A 64 year-old man on his own, going out there and finding him, when he should have been found Saturday night,” said Kapteina.
The department spokesperson said the family handled reporting their concerns perfectly, by calling 911 immediately. That's why they quickly launched a search effort and identified Curtis as an "endangered person."
The body of a missing Bradley County man was found Monday.
Curtis Kapteina's body was found in a wooded area near his home around 10:30 am, a Bradley County Sheriff's Office spokesperson explained.
Sheriff Steve Lawson, the Bradley County Medical Examiner and the Bradley County Sheriff's Office are all on the scene.
They do not suspect foul play.
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Curtis Kapteina, 31, was last seen Saturday around 4:30 pm near his home on Branam Road, a sheriff's office spokesperson explained.
He was wearing brown work boots, blue jeans and a black T-shirt. He is described as being a white male with brown hair and brown eyes. He is 6' and weighs 195 pounds.
Kapteina suffers from seizures and asthma. The sheriff's office said he doesn't have his medication with him.
If you have any information that can help deputies find Kapteina, please contact the Bradley County Sheriff Office at (423) 728-7300 or call 911.