TROPHY CLUB, Texas -- The family of 38-year-old Matthew Meinert spent much of Wednesday near the banks of Denton Creek, waiting and watching as crews searched high and low for the missing stay-at-home dad.
Drones, on loan from neighboring departments, surveyed the area in Flower Mound, where Meinert and his two-year-old son went missing Monday during a fishing trip. The toddler, Oliver, was discovered Tuesday, barefoot, wandering near the boat that had washed up on shore. He was released from Cook Children's Hospital Wednesday. His grandmother said he had thorns in his feet when authorities found him.
Despite the efforts of the 30 people searching Wednesday, including Matthew's own brother, there was still no sign of him by late afternoon. WFAA was told Meinert's wife was also trying to help in the search Wednesday. Flower Mound Emergency Manager Brandon Barth says they now consider this a recovery mission.
"Really we have no reason to believe at this point the gentleman is not anywhere but in the creek," Barth says, adding that they're hoping to bring closure to the family.
Denton Creek, which leads to Lake Grapevine, is a challenging one, full of debris left over from the floods in 2015, Barth says.
"It varies in depth from about one foot to 11 feet, just depending where you’re at," he says.
The family told WFAA that Meinert was an outdoor enthusiast, who often brought his son on his fishing and duck-hunting adventures. Meinert's mother-in-law says he loved Oliver more than anything. The family cannot even begin to imagine what happened in that boat that would separate the two in such a tragic way.