Family seeks help finding pilot missing in Africa

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Most of the pictures of Jerry Krause are of him and an airplane or with his wife: the two loves of his life.

The Warsaw, Indiana native is a pilot working in Africa has not been heard from in days.

"The best hope is that he was hijacked," said Beth White, a friend and former colleague of Krause.

Krause is assumed to be missing somewhere off the west coast of Africa. It's a part of the world that does not allow or welcome help from other countries.

"We just don't know," said White. "The area blocks out all internet, blocks out all cell phones. They are very isolated country, they don't let anyone else in."

Nate and Beth White got to know the Krause family while the two families worked with a mission group in Africa. For three years, the families worked and prayed together.

Beth is a teacher and instructed the Krause children along with her own. Her husband Nate, an experienced aircraft mechanic, kept Jerry in the air.

Nate fears the aircraft might have encountered a weather phenomenon called a microburst, causing the plane to go into the ocean. "Yet if the plane goes in hard, it leaves pieces all over the place and they didn't find any," he said.

The last radio contact with Krause was with a small island airport, who lost contact with Krause during a power outage. When power was restored, the radio was silent.

It was three days before the US government was allowed to send a plane to start searching.

"I still have hope they will find him,"said Nate White.

A social media campaign started by the Krause family is aimed at getting congressional members to step in and ask the military to join the search.

Beth White tells Eyewitness News that only the US military has the equipment capable of detecting the beacon from a plane in deep water.

"Our biggest request is that these senators get a little bit of pressure to request this, and it has to be done by May 7th," Beth said. "The signal ends at that point."

A Facebook page called "Find Jerry" offers instructions on how to contact Congressional members.

The Whites say time is running out, and the family of Jerry Krause deserves answers.