BELTON — Crystal Fields and her cadaver dog, Riegel, assisted Monday and Tuesday at the family’s request in the search for 25-year-old Scott Weinhold — the fisherman missing more than a week later after a lake outing turned into a tragedy.
The search at Belton Lake Tuesday centered near the Arrowhead Point boat ramp and the Westcliff Park waterfall. Earlier in the day, a helicopter was at Temple Lake Park.
Riegel scented something near the waterfall and it was checked out by a boat with high-powered sonar technology. However, nothing was located in that area, Fields said.
Searches were done west of Westcliff Park and near the mouth of Cowhouse Creek. Last week, a search focused on Sparta Valley Park.
Weinhold — who just finished four years in the U.S. Army — was fishing Jan. 21 with Fort Hood Staff Sgt. Kelton Sphaler, 25, and a third man in two canoes when both canoes capsized in the rough water.
Sphaler’s body was found Jan. 22 in about 10 feet of water near Sparta Valley Park.
The third man was able to swim to shore, where he was able to light a fire and was found at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The extensive search for Weinhold has included assistance from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, Fort Hood, Texas Department of Public Safety, Morgan’s Point Resort dive team, K-9 units and Weinhold’s family members. A variety of equipment, including an unmanned drone, side scan sonar and a tow fish, has been utilized.
Several items identified last week by the family as those of Weinhold haven’t led to any additional discoveries. A tackle box, winter camouflage jacket and shoes that belong to Weinhold were found on shore.
A GoFund Me account called “Bring Scott Home” was organized for Weinhold’s mother and stepfather. Family from New Hampshire is staying in a hotel while the search is underway, and Jennifer Florin, his mother, is losing time from work, the account information said. Of the $18,000 goal, $16,661 was raised by Tuesday afternoon.
“You’ve had my heart since day one. You taught me how to be a Mom and what unconditional love is. For that, you've made our lives complete. For these special reasons, I'm not leaving until this is resolved,” Florin said Monday on her Facebook page.
“Assistance for Alan Johnson and family” was established. This account is to raise money for the funds Johnson and his daughter, Weinhold’s wife Shea, need until he is found because “every minute of every day is dedicated to trying to recover Scott,” the account summary said. As of press time, $1,253 of $5,000 was raised.
A third GoFundMe was established for Weinhold’s father and stepmother. “Find Scott” can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/find-scott. The money will be used to help Weinhold’s father stay in Texas to search for his son, account information said. Of the $5,000 goal, $4,170 was raised by Tuesday afternoon.
Funeral services for Sphaler are scheduled at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Chisholm’s Family Funeral Home Chapel, 3100 S. Old FM 440, in Killeen. A private burial will be held at a later date.
Sphaler is survived by his wife, Shalee; daughter Scarlett; mother, Sherry Sphaler; father, Gary Calvin Sphaler; and brother, Specialist Aulbre Calvin Sphaler.