Trooper Fredrick Guthrie & K9 Reed
End of Watch: August 1, 2011
Missing Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper Frederick Guthrie was never one to consider himself a hero, even when the governor of Missouri said otherwise. Then-Gov. Matt Blunt presented Trooper Fredrick Guthrie a state Medal of Valor for his 2007 rescue of a woman who was clinging to a buoy in Smithville Lake after being thrown from her boat during a heavy thunderstorm. But Guthrie said he didn’t consider himself a hero. “I was just at the right place at the right time and doing my job,” he said.
Authorities think Trooper Guthrie drowned Monday afternoon, August 1, while on flood duty in Holt County in Northwest Missouri. His patrol vehicle was found about two hours after his colleagues broke for lunch Monday at the junction of Missouri 118 and Missouri 111 around 3:00p.m., boat still in tow. Trooper Guthrie was patrolling streets, homes and farms that had been evacuated, Sgt. Sheldon Lyon said. Trooper Guthrie and his dog, K9 Reed, were last seen at 1 p.m. Monday. Details of how Trooper Guthrie died have not been determined. K9 Reed was recovered about 6:25 p.m. Tuesday. K9 Reed floated to the surface about three hours after a Black Hawk began to dam the area where Trooper Guthrie’s still running truck was found. K9 Reed was discovered about 75-yards from where Trooper Guthrie’s vehicle was located. It appears that Trooper Guthrie and K9 Reed were swept away by swift floodwaters. Lyon said it is possible that Trooper Guthrie got out of his truck and was swept away by water rushing across the road. “It’s very deceiving,” Lyon said. “You look at these fields around us and they’re very flat. When the Missouri River gets outside of its banks, if you look at the water you think it looks like a lake. When you examine what it’s doing, there is current and in some locations that current is very strong.”
Trooper Josh White was one of the first to search for Trooper Guthrie. White said it’s a little harder searching for a colleague and a friend. “We just had one thing in mind and that’s trying to find him, being somebody that you work with closely and know well then the urgency kind of hits home.” he said. Initially, authorities were unsure what had happened and sealed the area as a crime scene. Later, they determined no crime had occurred and began to search for Trooper Guthrie. The search on Tuesday turned to a recovery mission when they concluded he drowned.
Trooper Frederick “Fred” Guthrie joined the Missouri State Water Patrol in January 1994. He became a trooper in a merger with the Highway Patrol in January 2011. Most recently, he served in Troop A in Platte County. K9 Reed had been with the Missouri Highway Patrol for five years. “He is the nicest person I have ever worked with,” Lyon said. “You knew when you worked with Fred it was going to be a good day.”
On September 28, 2011 Colonel Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, regretfully announced the official death of Trooper Frederick "Fred" F. Guthrie Jr. This announcement followed the issuance of Letters of Independent Administration by Platte County Associate Circuit Judge, James Van Amburg to Trooper Guthrie's spouse, Mrs. Teresa Guthrie. Judge Van Amburg issued the letters after hearing evidence and declaring that Trooper Guthrie was killed in the line of duty on August 1, 2011.
The search for Trooper Guthrie continued for months. On January 12, 2012, Trooper Guthrie's body was recovered under approximately 3.5 feet of packed sand and silt, after a brush pile was removed during an excavation process. The recovery site was south of where K9 Reed was found months earlier, near the original search site.
Trooper Guthrie is survived by his wife and three children. He is the 30th member of the Missouri State Highway Patrol to die in the line of duty. A support fund has been established to assist Trooper Guthrie's wife and three children.
REST IN PEACE TROOPER FREDERICK "FRED" GUTHRIE JR. & K9 REED