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Witness recalls seeing man at Itch-Kep-Pe Park before he went missing

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Posted at 5:40 PM, Jul 08, 2024

COLUMBUS — Twenty four-year-old Tommy Freeman was last seen on July 3 at Itch-kep-ke Park in Columbus, and police put out an alert Monday seeking help finding him.

One couple, who was camping across Freeman, might have been the last to see him Wednesday night.

Rosina, who wished to only go by her first name, said Freeman was accompanied by a woman.

“It was just a young man and a young girl,” Rosina said at Itch-kep-ke Park in Columbus Monday.

Rosina said the couple were already there when she and her husband arrived last week.

“You wouldn’t really see them. They weren’t, never looked like they were cooking. They always looked like they were in their tent. Then they’d go for little walks, come back,” Rosina said.

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Rosina, who said she camped across who she believed was Tommy Freeman last week.

She said the couple could often be heard arguing. The last time she saw the pair was around 8 p.m. last Wednesday when they went for a walk, but said she only saw the man return around 11 p.m.

“He came back, not running, but at a really fast pace back to the tent...But he wasn't at the tent for more than five seconds, I'd say. And then, the first thing we noticed was what happened to the girl. He came back by himself," said Rosina.

Rosina and her husband said Freeman abruptly left the campsite shortly after and they didn't see anyone back at the campsite the next morning.

"A lot of police, the sheriff, the police, there are at least four cop cars here, pulled up straight to that camp. It's not like they were driving around camp. They went straight to that camp. So someone must have called,” Rosina said.

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Columbus Police Department

She relayed all the information she knew to the Columbus Police Department and said search and rescue canvassed the river and surrounding areas the entire day. She saw law enforcement then search the campsite before loading it away.

“Probably on the Thursday when they came by. And they said they still hadn't found them. So, that's all we know,” said Rosina.

Columbus Police Chief Aaron Uecker said it's something that doesn't happen often.

“It's a pretty well-known park. A lot of people come over from all around. Generally, it's the same people you're in and you're out to come down here, but no, this is definitely not a common thing,” Uecker said.

Uecker declined to confirm whether Freeman was accompanied by a woman when he was last seen.

He said he's hoping anyone with information will reach out to the Columbus Police Department.

"I can't stress enough that if you got any information to contact Stillwater County Dispatch at 322-5326," said Uecker.