The Washington Post

South Carolina national park closed to search for missing man, children

(Google Maps)

Congaree National Park, a swampy expanse in South Carolina located about half an hour away from Columbia, has been closed to visitors as dozens of searchers continue to look for a missing man and two children.

Jerry Kimbler, 43, of Springdale, S.C., was with his children — a son, 10, and a daughter, 6 — in the park on Saturday when they got lost after heading down a trail, the National Park Service said. Kimbler sent a text message to a friend on Saturday at about 9:30 p.m. asking for help.

More than 80 park rangers, trained personnel and volunteers from local and state emergency management teams and law enforcement groups have been conducting a search since Saturday, scouring about 9,000 acres of the park’s 27,000 acres. These crews have walked trails, deployed dogs, searched by boat and utilized helicopters and other aircraft using thermal imaging and night vision cameras.

The search has been complicated by trees that were downed by a winter ice storm, the National Park Service said, and while the weather hasn’t been particularly bad so far, storms are expected later in the week.

The park remains closed to accommodate the search, officials said. Searchers planned to stop the search on Monday night and resume at dawn on Tuesday.


Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and stories from around the country.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments

Sign up for email updates from the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

You have signed up for the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

Thank you for signing up
You'll receive e-mail when new stories are published in this series.
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.
Next Story
Mark Berman · April 28, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.