Missing Air Force family of 4 found dead in Thanksgiving SUV crash


An Air Force family reported missing in Montana on Thanksgiving Day has been found dead in their damaged SUV.

The Air Force reported that Staff Sgt. Anthony James Dean was killed in a crash involving the SUV. Also killed were Dean’s 25-year-old wife Chelsi Kay Dean and their two daughters, Kaytlin Merie Dean, 5, and Avri James Dean, 1.


Sgt. Dean, 25, was assigned to the 69th Maintenance Squadron at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota.

“Words are not enough during a time like this,” said Maj. Eric Inkenbrandt, 69th Maintenance Squadron commander. “AJ’s family brought a light to our maintenance community, and this loss strikes each of us deeply. May their friends and family be granted the strength and serenity to get through this sorrowful time.”

Montana Highway Patrol discovered the accident scene Friday night in Huntley — 13 miles east of Billings -- while searching for the missing family, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.


They were traveling on Interstate 94 when their Toyota 4Runner went off the road and came to rest in a creek.

They were planning to drive from Caldwell, Idaho, to Ekalaka, Mont., for Thanksgiving, according to the paper

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“Mom and Grandma heart is broken into a billion pieces,” Anthony Dean’s mother, L.D. Webb, said on Facebook, the paper reported.



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CALDWELL - A Caldwell woman has taken to social media to help find her son, her daughter-in-law, and their two little girls who have been missing since Wednesday.

L.D. Webb posted information on her Facebook page about her family who was last heard from about 6:30 a.m. Thursday. They were believed to be near Billings, Montana at the time.

Anthony Dean … his wife, Chelsi Kay Dean … and their two daughters: Kaytlin, age 5 and Avri, who is one year and eight months old … had left Caldwell and were headed to a town near the Montana/North Dakota border.

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“They left my house Wednesday around 4 p.m. and were heading to Ekalaka, Montana, to see Chelsi's grandma for Thanksgiving,” Webb wrote in an e-mail to us. “Chelsi messaged her mom around one in the morning to say they were stopping to sleep. Around 6:30 a.m. (Thursday), Chelsi's grandma, Ella, got a message saying they were leaving Billings and should be to her house around 11 a.m. That's the last anyone has heard from them.”

The distance from Billings to Ekalaka is about 250 miles.

Webb said her son was driving a blue 2018 Toyota Forerunner with Idaho license plate 2C SC737. “They are towing a small trailer with a 1979 Toyota Corolla which Anthony is in the process of restoring. All the paint is sanded off. The trailer has a temporary California tag, because they just bought it when they picked up the Corolla,” Webb explained.

Anthony Dean and his wife both grew up in Caldwell. He is serving in the Air Force and is stationed at Grand Forks, North Dakota, his mother said.

“Anthony has taken the route (from Caldwell to Ekalaka) before, so he familiar with it,” she added.

Law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Air Force, and hospitals in both Idaho and Montana have been notified.
 

Caldwell mom desperate to find missing son and his family

Steve Bertel
2:19 PM, Nov 23, 2018
2:08 PM, Nov 24, 2018