Written by SARAH McCRAW
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 18:31
Discovery of headwear prompts search that reveals fate of Cedarburg resident missing since Dec. 27
The discovery of a knit cap led to the recovery of the body of a 24-year-old Cedarburg man who had been missing since Dec. 27.
The Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department said water recovery teams found the body of Robert Steinbrecker in Cedar Creek under the bridge on Highland Drive in
Cedarburg on Friday, Jan. 11.
Lieutenant Rod Galbraith said a resident reported finding a green-and-gold Green Bay Packers cap that matched the description of the one Steinbrecker was wearing when he was last seen.
Cedarburg, Grafton and Thiensville fire departments responded to the area where the hat was found, approximately a half mile south from where Steinbrecker was last seen.
“Right now there’s no indications that there’s foul play, but we’re not done with the investigation,” Galbraith said.
The Ozaukee County medical examiner said the cause of death was drowning, but officials are waiting for toxicology results to return, which could take several months.
“One of the things we’re focusing on now is where might Robert have traveled when the witnesses reported he was last seen and why he ended up where he did. Those are some things we’re hoping to come up with some answers to, but I’m not sure we’re ever going to know all the answers,” Galbraith said.
Steinbrecker, a graduate of Cedarburg High School, had been visiting with friends while home for the holidays when they left Maxwell’s Tavern in the early morning hours of Dec. 27. He was last seen running north on the ice on Cedar Creek around 2 a.m.
Galbraith said weather conditions, including the ice on the creek, caused difficulties during the search.
“I was thankful we had the warm up and the rain and it melted the snow on his hat. If we hadn’t found his hat, who knows how long it would have taken to find him,” Galbraith said.
“Our department, the Cedarburg and other fire departments were doing what we could to find him as soon as possible for closure for his family and to better our investigation.”
Fire and rescue crews from Cedarburg, Grafton and Thiensville, along with the Cedarburg Police Department and the Great Lakes Search and Rescue K-9 unit, assisted the sheriff’s department in the search.