Search continues for missing man

Volunteers still needed to search area


March 22, 2024

Peter Michael Martin

Wearing fluorescent yellow vests and armed with whistles and broomsticks to help them comb through brush and other terrain, volunteers fanned out last week in search of 31-year-old Peter Michael Martin.

Martin was last seen and heard from on Friday, March 8. A Fond du Lac Band member who grew up in the Reservation's Mahnomen neighborhood, Martin graduated from Albrook High School in 2011. A news release described Martin as approximately 5-foot-10, 185 pounds with dark brown eyes. He also has a small scar on his forehead and a number of tattoos across his left and right arms, shoulders and chest.

Martin was reported missing March 11. That's when Fond du Lac police officers searched his property and surroundings. Soon after, the St. Louis County Rescue Squad was contacted to assist with the search and provide a mobile command station. Over the next 24 hours, the two agencies launched a 140-acre search and deployed drone support near Martin's home.

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Community search efforts began March 13 and included many Fond du Lac staff members as well as representatives from the Minnesota Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR) office. Over the next three days, searchers covered nearly 600 acres.

Linda Martin-

Proulx, Peter Martin's sister, spoke on behalf of the family.

"We are so appreciative of the overwhelming support from community," she said. "It honors my brother who is a happy and outgoing person."

As of Wednesday, March 20, community volunteers had provided over 2,000 hours of support and had systematically searched, within 10-15 feet of each other, 894 acres of varying terrain, including deep woodlands, fields and wetlands, to help find Martin.

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"The community has come together in an extraordinary way for this young man who is a son, brother, and father," said Fond du Lac Chairman Kevin Dupuis Sr. "It is important to emphasize that, despite the world's indifferences, when people work together, good things always emerge. ... Our thoughts, tobacco, and prayers are with the family and the entire community."

As of Thursday morning, search and rescue efforts, as well as an investigation, had not discovered his whereabouts. Martin remains a missing person.

Volunteers are still needed. Stop by Brookston Community Center, 8200 Belich Road, check the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Facebook page or to find out the latest search plans, or call Bruce Blacketter Jr. at 218-481-5994.

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Before searching, all volunteers are given instructions on what to do if anything appears out of place, including audibly calling out to law enforcement, which will assist and collect any items for further analysis. All volunteer efforts are tracked using a mapping technology linked to each volunteer's cell phone.

Reminders for all volunteers: temperatures are likely to drop below freezing and search areas may be heavily forested or wet, so dress accordingly. Make sure cell phones are well-charged.

The FDL Police Department is investigating all leads. Anyone with tips or information on Martin's whereabouts is asked to call 911, the Fond du Lac Police Department at 218-878-8040, or the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office at 218-726-2340. Cite case No. 24032470.


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