JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. — Delbert Kinsey, 56, left his Jefferson County home around 4:20 a.m. on Feb. 19, just as he normally does.

“We kissed, and we hugged and said goodbye, said I love you,” Marylou Kinsey recalled.

It’s the same ritual they’ve done for nearly 30 years. But, this time, he didn’t make it to work.

“I went back to bed laid down, and his boss called me around 6:15,” Marylou said.

His boss and Marylou retraced routes Delbert could have taken to work. Kinsey is a heavy equipment operator and has been a member of the Operating Engineers Local 513 union for 25 years. His union said this is very out of character for him.

Marylou found Delbert’s truck on Highway B near The Big River. She got out of the car and started looking for him but couldn’t find him.

“I went to see maybe he got tired and laid down in the truck or something but there was nothing, no keys, no Delbert, no wallet,” Marylou said.

She called 911 immediately. She said this is a spot they have often parked to look at the river, and they are both big nature lovers. She said it’s possible Delbert stopped here to smoke on his way to work, but this is not like him to disappear.

“They called in our bloodhound Zeus and his handler to do a track. They used an article out of the vehicle to give the dog the scent and then Zeus, the bloodhound, started immediately tracking Mr. Kinsey’s scent to the bridge. And that’s unfortunately where his scent ended right there,” said Grant Bissell, public safety information coordinator for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department (JCSD).

Since then, Missouri State Highway Patrol’s water patrol division has come to search the river along with two neighboring fire departments. Deputies and detectives from JCSD have also searched on the ground.

“We had a number of folks actually out walking the banks of the river in that area, we also brought in one of our special operations corporals, who is our drone pilot, he flew the drone for 6 hours that day,” Bissell said.

“The river kind of snakes and crosses roads a number of times. There are a number of river accesses, so a detective has also gone to all those nearby river accesses to search.”

Crews have gone out with boats four times since the initial day of the search. On Thursday, JCSD’s drone pilot was flying over the area again. Marylou said a friend has also been searching with a drone.

The department does not anticipate there has been any foul play involved.

“We’ve done numerous interviews with people who know Mr. and Mrs. Kinsey, including the employer’ there. We’ve also gone to a number of businesses along that route that Mr. Kinsey traveled to get to work to gather surveillance video, and also just recently did an interview with somebody who believes he may have seen Mr. Kinsey in the area of the bridge on that morning,” Bissell said. “There has been a whole lot of effort put into this.”

“Highway B in that area is very well-traveled, so we would ask anyone who drove through that area on Highway B, in that Highway C intersection area in the early morning hours of the 19th,” he continued. “If you did happen to see him walking along the road, doing anything, we would love to hear from you because our detective bureau is tracking down every lead.”

Marylou said she’s heard from some witnesses that drove by that there may have been another car parked and another man with Delbert. She wants to know if that’s true and who it was.

“A lot of scenarios we’ve run on our head,” Marylou said. “Trying to have a little bit of faith because if I don’t, there’s no room for a miracle.”

She said he just started the process to retire early, and they had planned to move on a waterfront property so Delbert could fish and hunt whenever they wanted.

“I’ve asked God, that if He’s already taken his spirit, to at least give us the rest so I know he’s with you,” she said. “Our last date night was just the week before at church.”

She said they never argued, and the only thing they would argue about was where to go out for dinner.

“I love him and he knows I love him,” she added.

She said the day he went missing, the river was high and the nearby land was filled with water. Marylou said he was wearing his fluorescent green/yellow work shirt, with his company name and his first name on it, along with work pants, steel-toed boots, a baseball cap, and a lightweight camo jacket.

“I just want everybody that’s on this river, or down the river, or flooded property, to be keeping an eye out for him,” she said.

On Saturday morning, three groups of kayakers from St. Louis County are coming to the Big River to help with the search.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Detective Hollie Lunsford at 636-797-5515.