UPDATE: Body of missing Gooding man found

Gooding County prosecutor Trevor Messeldine has confirmed that they have found the body of Roger Driesel and there are signs of foul play.
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 7:01 AM MDT
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GOODING, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —UPDATE (May 27th, 10:25 p.m.) Gooding County prosecutor Trevor Messeldine has confirmed that they have found the body of missing Gooding man Roger Driesel and there are signs of foul play.

It’s been 13 days since Driesel was last seen alive, and not much information is known at this time, as Misseldine says that this is an active investigation.

ORIGINAL STORY: The search for a Gooding County man continues. The City of Gooding is shocked by the mysterious disappearance of Roger Driesel, who has now been missing for more than a week.

The 58-year-old is a staple in the Gooding community. Family and friends say roughly “90 percent” of the community knows him.

“Roger was a very loud, outspoken person, as I would describe him to people, he is a social butterfly,” said his sister JulieAnne Batelaan.

His father Larry Driesel added, “You could not get Roger to shut up. The longer he talked, the louder his voice would get.”

Roger’s family said he served 18 years in the national guard and 18 months in Baghdad for the Army. Additionally, they said he has never been diagnosed with PTSD, but to some, he may show signs of dementia. But, whatever his mood was, he is never violent.

“No matter what, he would give the shirt off his back to help you. If he only had a few cents in his pocket, if he could help, he would do whatever ever he could to help,” Batelaan said.

Now, Roger has been missing for more than a week.

“It’s pretty rough,” Larry Driesel said with tears.

Batelaan said she wanted to clarify Roger Driesel was last seen on the evening of Monday, May 15, at his girlfriend’s nephew’s residence in Gooding. Batelaan said previous reports gave the impression he was last seen at his father’s residence.

Additionally, it was reported that after getting into a verbal altercation, he left with people unknown to the family in a gray or silver 2010-ish SUV. He left several items behind at his home, such as his phone and wallet, and has not contacted his family since.

According to the police department, Roger’s girlfriend made the missing person report to the Gooding Police Department on May 17, 48 hours after Roger was last seen.

“He might be irresponsible, but he is not that irresponsible. Also, Dad’s birthday was Thursday. Nothing in a million years would keep him away from dad’s birthday,” Batelaan said.

People in this Gooding community said for Roger to be missing this long is highly unusual, partly due to him not having a driver’s license. The community is coming together by putting up missing person posters of Roger in their shops and around town.

“If I were missing, I know for a fact Roger would be missing for me,” said friend Heather Onda Day, who also owns the Buzz Thru Daily coffee shop in Gooding.

Outside of the flyers, family and friends are putting up a reward for anyone who reports a sighting of Roger that leads to his return. So far, they have raised $1,300 and have a Gofundme page set up to raise additional reward money.

They are also working with a Semper Vigilan out of Rupert to organize a search party. The group uses cadaver dogs to search for missing persons.

“We got maps we will be shading where we have all gone (looking for Roger). So we know what ground has already been covered,” Day said.

The Gooding Police Department said roughly 30 officers from multiple agencies had worked the case on the disappearance of Roger Driesel. There have been several reports of sightings from around the Magic Valley, but none have led to him being located yet.

Roger’s sister has taken a leave of absence from her job in Heyburn and is now living on her father’s property in Gooding until Roger is found. She still has hope he will return, but she and her father are concerned that foul play is the cause of his disappearance.

“My logic is he was picked up. He was beaten up. He has a concussion. He does not know who he is. I don’t feel that he is dead,” Batelaan said.

But every passing day weighs on the Gooding community.

“Every day is getting scarier and scarier, Day said.

The family is asking anyone with information to contact the Gooding Police Department or Sircomm at (208) 324-1911.

Batelaan said if someone wants to contact her about handing missing person posters or assisting in searching for her brother, they can TEXT her at (208)-650-5054.

Roger’s physical appearance:

  • Tattoos on left arm and shoulder
  • Left arm he keeps raised like its in a sling and right hand almost in a fist form due to surgery on both body parts
  • 5′11
  • brown eyes,
  • weight approximately 180 pounds
  • gray shaggy hair and gray beard