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A Man Vanished Into Thin Air. A Dirt Biker Solved the Mystery

Ryan Linneman of Missouri is in critical condition after car crash left him in a ravine for a week
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2019 9:00 AM CDT
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/jctabb)

(Newser) – A dirt biker out for a ride stumbled across a horrifying sight on Wednesday: a smashed-up car at the bottom of a ravine, with what he thought was a dead body inside. As Fox News reports, that horror story soon became a miraculous one, as the man inside the car wasn't dead, but had been missing for nearly a week. The wife of 37-year-old Ryan Linneman, of Lee's Summit, reported him missing on Oct. 10; WDAF reports he'd last been seen the day before that driving his tan 2004 Honda Accord. Around 5:30pm on Wednesday was when the biker found Linneman in his car, which had apparently hit a sign on the Kansas City highway above and then plummeted 50 feet into the gorge. "He originally thought it was just an abandoned vehicle," Sgt. Bill Mahoney of the Kansas City Police Department says of the biker. "When he got up on it, he saw someone inside it."

After a couple of minutes, the biker realized Linneman was indeed alive. Where he'd been for the six days before had baffled investigators, family, and friends: There was no activity on his credit and debit cards, they couldn't locate his cellphone, and license plate readers couldn't find his car—in other words, no "digital breadcrumbs." KCTV notes that the car wasn't visible to other drivers on the highway above. "Had that dirt biker not come upon him, I don't see how anyone would have found him," Mahoney tells WDAF. A rep for the Lee's Summit Police Department tells CNN that Linneman remains in ICU after being brought into the hospital in critical condition, suffering from multiple fractures and severe frostbite. The Kansas City Star reports he was still unconscious as of Thursday afternoon. In an online statement, a relative simply noted, "We are blessed to be able to say that he is alive." (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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