Missing airman’s father playing excruciating waiting game

DOVER — Senior Airman Keifer Huhman remains missing and the waiting in limbo is excruciating, his father said Wednesday.

Stationed at Dover Air Force Base, Airman Huhman hasn’t been seen since 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 7.

That’s when he left his Blue Hen Apartments’ home driving a 1997 Ford Ranger with Florida tags.

An extensive search and investigation involving federal, state and local authorities has yielded no results.

Neither did the search by more than 100 people who looked in vain for three or four days in places the missing airman might have traveled.

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Senior Airman Keifer Huhman

On Feb. 7, at about 10 p.m., the truck was found on the shoulder of William V. Roth Jr. Bridge over the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal about 30 miles north of Dover, police said.

But Dover Police didn’t know the truck had been towed from the bridge for several days.

Hope for a positive outcome remains, but there’s also no sense of closure.

“We’re at the worst part of it, which is the waiting,” said Keifer’s father, Kenneth Huhman.

“ … The detectives are trying to develop some sort of lead, but things are kind of at a standstill right now.”

On Wednesday a Dover Police Department spokesman had no new information to report on the search. Attempts to reach the U.S. Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations have been unsuccessful.

The airman’s father, also in the Air Force and stationed in Japan, talked with his son the day before his disappearance.

There was no reason to think anything was amiss, said Chief Master Sgt. Huhman.

In fact, he said his son was excited after recently receiving orders for a post in Japan — he planned to make his dad’s upcoming promotion ceremony overseas.

Keifer had become a fitness leader in his squadron and was excited for that, according to his father.

Also, the young airman had taken his truck for servicing in preparation for turning it over to his sister while he was in Japan.

“That’s the oddity in this whole situation,” Sgt. Huhman said. “Keifer seemed to be fine and looking forward to planning some things for the future.”

Sgt. Huhman has remained in the area since arriving a few days after his son, a member of the 436th Communications Squadron, didn’t show up to work on Feb. 8.

The OSI and Dover Police Department have since worked to locate Airman Huhman, but without results. Several law enforcement and rescue entities have also helped in the search.

Authorities lauded

Beginning with OSI and Dover Police, and then mentioning a list of several others including Delaware State Police, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and a fire department assisting in the search, Sgt. Huhman said he’s been overwhelmed by the resources contributing to the search.

“Everyone is putting out full effort … everyone has been tremendous during the entire time and I’m extremely thankful for that,” he said.

Sgt. Huhman is not immune to reality, however.

“At some point everyone is going to have to go on and hope that the search for leads continues here and the case is not forgotten,” he said.

The father hopes someone will provide a tip or insight into what has become of his son.

“I’m hoping that someone will see him or will have seen him to develop a lead that can be taken to law enforcement and build on the ability (to search for answer),” he said.

A Facebook page dedicated to support and sharing information was created soon after Airman Huhman’s disappearance. It had 2,377 members as of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Dover Police became aware of the airman’s disappearance when the family filed a missing person report on Feb. 10. Police teamed with the Delaware State Police aerial unit to conduct a search of Kent County and southern New Castle County, authorities said.

As the aerial search was ongoing, Dover Police said it learned that Airman Huhman’s truck had been found on the bridge Feb. 7 by Delaware State Police. That brought out the State Police and DNREC maritime units to search the C&D Canal area near the Roth Bridge.

This week, a spokesman for the Delaware Department of Transportation said no traffic cameras are pointed at the Roth Bridge.

Sgt. Huhman said Keifer’s twin brother and sister, who are 11, have been told just a bit about the ongoing situation. He added that it’s tough to shield them from the spread of information that’s taken place online.

“They’ve been told that daddy has left and is going to find their brother,” he said.

Dover Police ask anyone with information to call (302) 736-7130 or their local law enforcement agency.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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