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Michael Jensen found alive after four hot, humid days and a thunderstorm

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Michael Jensen found

A workman found Michael Jensen in a ditch near the intersection of Hammond Avenue and San Marnan Drive.

Michael Jensen mug


Michael Jensen, 46, formerly of Waverly, walked away from Ravenwood Specialty Care sometime in the evening on Monday, July 6, 2020.

He was found alive on the morning of Friday, July 10, in a watery ditch near Hammond Avenue and East San Marnan Drive, less than a mile away from the care center where he lived.

Around 70 searchers — including law enforcement, dogs, drones, Cedar Rapids-based urban search team Iowa Task Force Once, and volunteers — had been looking for him.

Volunteers search for Michael Jensen

Volunteers search the area around Ravenwood care center for Michael Jensen, who went missing from the care center Monday night.

Searchers went as far as Janesville to look for him after receiving two reports of a person resembling Jensen walking along rural roads in that city.

Jensen was found Friday morning by Larry Lehman.

Larry Lehman finds Michael Jensen

Larry Lehman with BDC Group found Michael Jensen in a ditch at the intersection of San Marnan Drive and Hammond Avenue.

What happened?

The former Wartburg College music instructor suffers from a brain tumor which can cause seizures.

His family's struggle was featured in the 2018 film "This Day Forward."

Jensen has been living at Ravenwood Specialty Care in Waterloo.

Last week, friends became concerned after Jensen's family told them that Jensen was told by Ravenwood he could not leave the center to attend his daughter's graduation party.

That was apparently due to coronavirus restrictions at the long-term care facility.

Two of those friends wrote letters to the Courier advocating for Jensen.

Jensen has previously wandered off, and normally stayed in a secure room at the center. He was recently moved to a different room because of COVID-19 protocols, according to police.

Ravenwood staff notified Waterloo Police that Jensen was missing at around 11:20 p.m., after searching unsuccessfully for 50 minutes, according to a police report.


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Beginning 8 a.m. Thursday morning, Mason City is requiring face masks to enter city-owned buildings in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Read the policy  requirements here:

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