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Karvonen family raises funds to refuel search

HOUGHTON – A crowdfunding site has been established to refuel an underwater search for missing boater Keith Karvonen.

Jamie Mleko organized the fund on behalf of Karvonen’s daughter, Emily Dorvinen, of Houghton, who along with the rest of his family, would like to know what happened to the beloved 61-year-old Atlantic Mine man who spent so much time fishing on Lake Superior.

“We, the family, are left with no answers,” the You Caring site says. “What happened that day? Could they be floating in ‘the big lake’? Are they indeed underwater?

“We need answers,” the site’s message continues. “We’d like to raise money to help with the expense of someone who specializes in underwater recovery (lodging, food, gas money to Michigan, as well as for the boat). Please consider donating. Every little bit helps.

“And please, above all, keep praying,” the message concludes.

Karvonen went fishing for lake trout Saturday, Sept. 17 in Keweenaw Bay with 43-year-old Steven Chartre and his 9-year-old son, Ethan, both of Ishpeming, but neither the boat nor its occupants returned that evening for a planned fish fry. Karvonen and Steven Chartre were friends who both worked for Checker Cab.

Karvonen’s disappearance was hardest on the family.

“It was awful,” Dorvinen said last week of the suspended search effort. “Oh my goodness, I just cried. It’s sad because he always had a smile on his face. He makes you laugh.

Dorvinen said her dad fished Lake Superior year-round, and loved to hunt and ride his Harley Davidson motorcycle.

“At this point, we’re hoping for a miracle,” Dorvinen said. “There’s nothing we can do. I just want any answers.”

Keith’s sister, Diane Karvonen, of South Range also asked for the community’s help last week. “Pray tonight please. It’s terrible (but) I don’t want anybody to give up.”

Despite a massive, non-stop search effort that began Saturday night and ended Wednesday, the trio have yet to be found.

“The lake’s so unpredictable,” said Michigan State Police Sgt. Jim Revoyr, of the Calumet Post, who added he would have liked to give the family some hope or closure, but could not. “It probably will just take time. If anyone spots anything, give us a call.” MSP Calumet Post can be reached at (906) 337-2211.

To make a donation, visit youcaring.com/keith-karvonen-655466.