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Family Learns Minn. Missionary Declared Dead Is Alive In Africa

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- In a plot that sounds like a movie, there is new hope in the years-long search for a missionary pilot once feared dead.

Jerry Krause, who grew up in Waseca, disappeared in 2013 while flying over Africa's west coast. He was later declared dead.

But new information from the United States government has taken the investigation in a dramatic new direction.

Krause's youngest daughter, Jessica, looked back on the day her life changed course from her home in Indianapolis.

"It's a routine flight he's done multiple times," Jessica said. "I thought, 'Just give it some time and it's all going to be OK.' Now it's been close to four-and-a-half years."

Jerry Krause
Jerry Krause (credit: Krause Family)

Krause served as a missionary pilot in Africa since 1989, where he raised his three kids with his wife, Gina.

On April 7, 2013, Krause planned to fly a new plane from South Africa to Mali. His last communication came from the island of Sao Tome where he stopped to re-fuel.

"We had airplanes doing searches, we had boat searches, we had a reward on the island for any information," Jessica said.

Two months later, no plane debris, no black box and no answers.

A report from the South African Civil Aviation Authority said Krause crashed and died. But his family says that is now not the case.

They posted on Facebook how the South African government has removed their official report due to new evidence and that Krause has been seen and found to be alive, adding that the U.S. government knows his location.

"We decided we should really get something going here to get my dad back," Jessica said.

The Krauses say sources within the Pentagon and Department of Defense have told them they need presidential approval to make their next move.

They hope the public will put pressure on their lawmakers now to bring a husband and father home.

"We're ready. We're tired. It's just been a long time," Jessica said.

Krause's family says no group has claimed responsibility for his kidnapping, and they do not know what kind of condition he is in.

Here is the information the Krauses posted on their "Find Jerry Krause" Facebook page:

  • Click here to contact your senators. Choose your state. Your senators will be listed with their contact information.
  • Click here to contact your congressman/congresswoman. Type in your zip code. Your representative will be listed. Click his or her name. This will take you to their website where you can find their contact information.
  • If you are from Minnesota, Illinois or Indiana, please include the fact that Jerry Krause and his family are all residents of Minnesota; Jerry's son, Nathan, is a resident of Illinois; and his wife, Gina, and their daughters, Alyssa and Jessica, are all residents of Indiana.
  • If you have questions or would like more information, please message "Find Jerry" or email If you would like to talk via phone, Jessica Krause will provide her phone number through a message or email.
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