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Former Granite Falls man missing in NE South Dakota

South Dakota authorities are asking for the public's help in the search for a Granite Falls native who has not been seen since late Thursday morning.

Patrick Kulesa, 41, of rural Grenville, S.D., was last heard from about 11 a.m. Thursday when he talked with his family by cell phone, according to a news release from the Day County Sheriff's Office in Webster, S.D. The rancher was last seen around 8:30 a.m. Thursday at an Aberdeen, S.D., bank.

Kulesa's aunt, Elaine Monson of Granite Falls, said Monday that Kulesa is the son of John and Katie Monson of Granite Falls. His parents are now in South Dakota aiding in the search for their son.

The Aberdeen American News reported on its Web site that Kulesa withdrew $2,000 in cash at 8:47 a.m. Thursday for the purchase of hay, and also wired some money to one of his ranch hands for medical expenses.

Day County Sheriff Barry Hillestad has since said he's concerned that foul play may be involved in Kulesa's disappearance.

Hillestad says the South Dakota Department of Criminal Investigation is assisting local authorities. Law enforcement agencies in North Dakota have also been asked to be on the lookout for any sign of Kulesa or his car.

Kulesa ranches near Pickerel Lake, S.D., in northeastern Day County, about 60 miles northwest of Ortonville.

The Day County Sheriff's Department is asking for the public's help in searching a 250-mile radius of Aberdeen where Kulesa was last seen.

Kulesa is 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighs 260 pounds, and has dark brown hair and blue eyes. He was driving a 1999 Dodge Intrepid, gold or tan in color, with South Dakota license plate 22P387.

Kulesa is known as a devoted family man, is not on any medications and does not have any history of strange behavior.

Anyone with information on Kulesa, or his whereabouts, is asked to contact the Day County Sheriff's Office at 605-345-3222 or a local law enforcement office.

Kelly Boldan

Kelly Boldan has been the editor of the West Central Tribune of Willmar, since joining the newspaper in October 2001. He has previously worked as the editor at the Bemidji Pioneer, also part of Forum Communications Co., and other daily newspapers, online Web sites, and weekly agriculture newspapers in Wisconsin, Texas and Minnesota. You can follow via Twitter at @KellyBoldanWCT or read about the Tribune's newsroom blog at: or the Tribune's blog at:

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