Mom and family of missing boater waits along the banks

Mom and family of missing boater waits along the banks

NEWBURGH, IN (WFIE) - Crews continued searching Wednesday for a missing fisherman in Newburgh. 43-year-old Steven Burks has been missing since Sunday afternoon, following a boating accident on the Ohio River near the Old Lock and Dam.

With binoculars in hand, his mother, Brenda Ambrose and other family members are watching and waiting from the banks.

“All I want is him, just to have closure,” Ambrose said.

Burks, who is from Owensboro, was fishing with a friend, 48-year-old Paul Warrenfelz. We’re told their boat was pulled into the Newburgh Dam by the current and the motor wouldn’t start. Before the boat went under water, Warrenfelz was able to put on a life jacket and climb on a ledge of the dam.

“I don’t want him to blame himself for what happened to Steve. I just thank God that he went home to his family,” Ambrose added.

We’re learning Burks was an avid fisherman. Brenda says the last time she talked to her son was about two weeks ago before a previous fishing outing.

“He knows how I feel. He knows I love him,” Ambrose stated.

And as she waits by the shore, says she’s overwhelmed by how supportive even strangers have been.

“I couldn’t imagine in a million years about how good some people are still in this world. And I wish there were more like them,” Ambrose described.

Reflecting and reminiscing, she even offered a piece of advice for other parents.

“Don’t take your kids for granted. You don’t know never know when you’ll lose them. And they aren’t supposed to go before you do.”

River water levels are continuing to rise and there is widespread debris. Both conditions make the waters dangerous. At least one boat is still searching.

“The waiting is the hardest part but I’ll be here until the day they find him,” Ambrose said.

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