EUGENE PRINS Episode #101 – Transcript
[Kristi]: I’m Kristi and I’m here with Serena. Hi how are you today?
[Kristi]: Okay, today we’re talking about Eugene “Beaner” Prins. He went missing from Woonsocket South Dakota March 26th 2020. So, It’s pretty fresh like 132 days I believe. His mom posts on Facebook every day.
[Kristi]: Woonsocket was developed in 1883 as a railroad Town it was on the junction of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad the town was named after the railroad superintendent’s home of Woonsocket Rhode Island. The town was incorporated in 1888, it’s largely a farming Community much like most of South Dakota. Woonsocket is located on highway 34 just south of Huron. In 2010 the census reported that there were 655 people in Woonsocket and since then two people have gone missing. Rachel Cyriacks in 2013 and Eugene Prins this past March. We’re going to talk about Eugene’s story today. We’ll talk about Rachel in a future episode I spoke with Eugene’s mom Pat and she’s a very very sweet badass lady.
[Kristi]: Did you get a chance to look at her Facebook?
[Sereena]: Yes, today she posted: 132 days now I’ve been trying to talk to you in these messages, only because I’ve been denied the option of talking to you face-to-face it gets harder and harder everyday all I want is to be able to see you and visit in person. This is not the way I ever thought a night of you going out would end. The non-stop waiting day after day of some word or anything about you and left with nothing but the hope someone either tells me where you are and what happened to you or they accidentally find you. Because Lord knows we have searched everywhere we can possibly think of. Thinking of you and missing you more and more everyday it’s like a never-ending knife in the heart. The pain is unbearable some days. The tears start as soon as my eyes open and if I’m lucky they stop before I leave for work, but days like today when the thought of never finding you were seeing you again knocks the wind right out of me. This all hurts so much son, I didn’t need it to happen, I’m so hurt and angry with everyone and anyone that was ever involved March 26th. I lost my son because of stupidity plain and simple. I miss you so very much. More and more everyday it will never stop until I know where you are you are my child and I will always love you and need you in my life hold on my darling boy I’m never giving up on you or finding you and bring you home where you belong. I love you son always and forever
[Kristi]: So yeah his mom told me a story about when he was born. On May 14th, 1974 and when he was born he was just a little and could fit in the palm of her hand and he was like a little bean. So yeah they just started calling him Beaner. The most adorable sorry I’ve ever heard. Yeah so that name stuck with him and he was known as Beaner. On March 26th Beaner agreed to help his friend take a log splitter to Fedora, South Dakota. So they stopped at Eugene’s brothers shop to pick up this log splitter and some ice and beer. You know, short road trip. They stayed and chatted for a little while and then they left the shop and drove to Fedora.
[Sereena] So where in relation to Woonsocket is Fedora?
[Kristi] Now Fedora is about 25 minutes east of Woonsocket. If they didn’t make any stops on the way, the drive from there should take about 25 minutes. That’s you know approximate if there were no stops then you know. We can’t be sure that he didn’t stop but you know according to the friend I guess no stops made. So they would’ve dropped this thing off in Fedora around 5:55 to 6:15 that means that they left somewhere between 6:00 and 6:15 maybe as late as 6:30. If they did chat with, you know, somebody I don’t know. I know that if I’m dropping off a piece of equipment somewhere, normally I like to make sure whoever is supposed to get it gets it.
[Sereena] And you got the Midwest Goodbye–
[Kristi] Right right. Well you’re not you’re [Chuckle] not lying. Approximately 7:38 that night, surveillance footage showed Eugene and his friend leaving a bar called Doren’s bar in Forestburg and this is about 15 minutes from Fedora on the way back to Woonsocket. Surveillance footage shows them leaving at 7:38 so you know. I like to think that they were there for about an hour about 6:30 which makes sense if they left right away you know if they didn’t really stick around much to chat. It would make total sense if they were there for about an hour before they left.
[Sereena] So the footage shows them leaving, did it show them arriving at Doran’s bar?
[Kristi] No apparently they only had the camera towards the back where there’s an alley and the surveillance footage shows them just driving past. So you know I imagine that they parked kind of cockeyed in the you know on the curb or whatever like we do– and then just pulled out that way and maybe went through that alley and you know got back on Highway. Yeah we know how much it sucks when there is not enough camera coverage for appropriate surveillance or even identification purposes. It totally sucks and that’s just from a professional standpoint I can’t imagine, you know, being someone’s family and realizing that you only get that one– that one shot that’s it– that’s your last shot you know of them.
[Sereena] So after they left doran’s bar where do they go
[Kristi] According to the family they stopped at a mutual friend’s house, a rural residence, between Forestburg and Woonsocket. According to the family that was the last place he was seen and that’s what the friend that was with Eugene told them. So I know it’s all kind of third hand information here but you know, that’s the story as I heard it. Family said that his friend went went inside and came out and he was gone
[Sereena] Okay so they leave the friend’s residence, well the friend leaves the residence.
[Kristi] Eventually he left without Eugene so– and he headed back to Woonsocket and at about 9:11pm he stopped at the shop at his brothers, Eugene’s Brothers shop I should say. Friend says that he lost Eugene in between Fedora and Forestberg and Woonsocket I guess– or Fedora and Forestburg– Kind of strange you know how do you lose a grown-up
[Sereena] Right?! His brother even thought it was a joke..
[Kristi] Yeah yeah nobody really took it serious that that night not immediately anyway. The next morning it was it was the friend that that contacted the family and said he still hadn’t heard from Eugene there’s a reason to believe that you know his phone is dead. It had been ringing over night according to him and at about 8 a.m. is when it started going straight to voicemail. At 11 a.m. is when the friend actually contacted the family and let them know he was had not been able to get ahold of Eugene overnight. Scary stuff! Yeah and it’s definitely not something you know you’re ready to wake up to especially you know it’s your grown child and you know, sometimes they go out and party a little too hard or maybe they just they do their own thing it’s hard to be immediately worried.
But it’s really apparent how close this family really is so at noon when no one had had heard from Beaner the family reported him missing and law enforcement was actually very responsive. Initially, which is you know uncharacteristic, we know so often especially for an adult male right so often they aren’t taken seriously initially.
So Bravo to Sanborn County Sheriff’s Office for the quick response on that so that day like right away like 12:30 they started to conduct a search in the area around that rural residents according to the family they found footprints that headed south from the farm but you know as any small town word travels fast and people were coming out to help search and drove over these tracks apparently. Yeah they had used a drug dog to find and did not find anything and drones were used. It was a pretty extensive search from the beginning, yeah that’s that’s encouraging you know maybe it’s a sign of the times, you know maybe maybe in the future if family reports somebody missing they take it seriously right away.
[Sereena] Yeah every second counts in situations like that. So this is happening on March 27th what is the weather like in March in South Dakota
[Kristi] It was.. The snow was melting. A lot of snow is melting, there were reports of water going over the roads in some areas. It has been brought up by Eugene’s family that it is possible he could have gotten, you know swept away, but you know any evidence of that there is just no evidence of that either. Nothing has been found you would think that if you did get Swept Away by a current or water over the road or even walked into you know one of the many areas around around the Woonsocket and Forestburg areas are wetlands you know you would see something flattened reads. They would’ve noticed disturbed grass.
[Sereena] There would’ve been a sign of him
[Kristi] Yeah not not not anything anything so far. I know the family reported that there was a sock that was found somewhere. A black sock in that area but they couldn’t confirm if it was his or not or you know where it may have come from there’s a there’s a whole lot of lack of evidence and there just isn’t anything. It’s like he just, you know, the footprints just came to a stop but you know either I mean, did he get into a vehicle with somebody?
[Sereena] how long do they search for him
[Kristi] Until about 9 that night, it was called off due to the weather. So once again you know it’s probably cold and raining very wet.
[Sereena] Potential ice
[Kristi] Yeah so difficult all together but you know you would think you would think something would have been found by now
[Sereena] Was that the only search they did was that one day?
[Kristi] Oh no no no, as a matter of fact the family goes out to the area almost every day and and conducts their own search. Even to this day still.. So if you think about that that’s a hundred and thirty-two days independent searches done by the family in that area and nothing. There been nothing, but in the days following his disappearance they they conducted many searches.
They brought in a number of agencies, I know the Mitchell search-and-rescue team obviously the Sanford County Sheriff’s Department.. April 3rd there was a there was a search conducted some family and friends had rented an airplane and flew over the James River Valley they didn’t see anything. The following weeks they brought out Bloodhound, cadaver dogs and apparently the cadaver dogs did pick up a scent that took them to a stock dam in the area. Beadle and Davidson County dive teams walked the stock dam and used rods and poked and prodded around it just did not find anything. Still today there’s been no signs of Eugene or his whereabouts and his family is obviously devastated. I was glad to meet them and be able to talk to them about this. I know it’s still very fresh for them and you know, anytime you don’t have answers is it it’s something I just can’t imagine. So hopefully they know that we stand with them during this difficult time.
[Sereena] There’s an article from the Mitchell Republic newspaper that was reported on April 8th 2020;
“Today there are no new leads about where the missing 45 year old Woonsocket man may have gone according to Sanborn County Sheriff Tom Fridley and Eugene’s family. Tom Fridley told the Daily Republic on Wednesday morning that the sheriff’s office with assistance from the highway patrol, Mitchell search and rescue, tracking and cadaver dogs and civilians have covered 36 square miles in the area between Forestburg and Woonsocket and they’re trying to plan their next steps for for the search according to Tom Fridley they are regrouping and trying to figure out the best use of the resources, and still reassessing and trying to sort out Eugene’s last steps.”
[Kristi] Yeah that’s kind of the response I got from the sheriff’s office.So considering it is an ongoing investigation, according to the family the friend passed a polygraph test. He apparently was questioned by police at this point it’s unclear if he’s still suspect or if there was any foul play.
[Sereena] Yeah yeah it’s it’s hard to imagine a grown man just don’t vanish into thin air.
[Kristi] It’s hard to it’s hard to put a you know a visual on that, you know where where he could be or how how someone you know gets lost like that. And unlike a lot of people in 2020 Eugene’s phone wasn’t traceable and it what yeah like I mean I have a TracFone but it’s an iPhone you know that you have a SIM card like yeah his was just like yeah…
[Sereena] Like an old flip phone.
[Kristi] Like he like he could take some pictures on it and you know but it was it was all he really needed. You know he’s wasn’t wasn’t a real fancy guy but you know he enjoyed collecting beer signs and he and his brothers enjoyed collecting monster truck, cars. You know little Matchbox cars Hot Wheels yeah yeah Hot Wheels. Forgive me if I’m wrong Colton and Tim.. Don’t yell at me but anyways there was an interesting article I just sent it to you through right now if you want to take a look at it.
[Sereena] Yeah this is an article from the Sanborn weekly journal the headline “Woonsocket fire department called to rural home” “On Tuesday April 7th The Woonsocket fire department was called to a residence southeast of Woonsocket. According to witnesses on the scene the family was burning trash and the fire escaped the fire barrel, setting a shelterbelt of dead trees on fire. The fire was contained rather quickly with no damage to the property.”
[Kristi] Interesting to note that rural residence is the residence of the friend that was last seen with Eugene. So there’s that he did apparently pass a polygraph, so I’m unsure at this point where he stands with law enforcement. But that is a thing..
[Sereena] So he’s most likely not considered suspect.
[Kristi] Yeah I mean, at least they didn’t act like that that particular incident was.
[Sereena] It’s not entirely uncommon to be burning your trash.
[Kristi] Oh no no so it’s a thing that that happened
[Sereena] It’s important to note
[Kristi] So with that said that’s the that’s the long and the short of Eugene Prins.
Here’s what Eugene’s brother Colton had to say – “Our family is struggling right now any information anything it could have been I saw Beaner 3-4 hours before it ever happened that day.. Just anything that could help out any way possible. Come forward to my mother, my father, my brother me, Tom Fridley, Jason Coenen and Josh Starsman. Anyone that has any involvement in this case that could help.”
[Kristi] So as usual if you have any information Sereena will give you the details –
[Sereena] Eugene was last seen wearing a blue plaid coat, khaki pants, tennis shoes, gray stocking cap. He has both his ears pierced; he’s got a tattoo of the word beaner. He’s about 5’7 he’s got graying brown hair and brown eyes. If you know anything, if you’ve seen anything you can contact the Sanborn County Sheriff’s Office at 605-796-4511 or check out the Facebook page for Missing Eugene Prins.
[Kristi] Until next time stay busy…