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Dave Winchester selected as February 2023 Missouri Department of Natural Resources Team Member of the Month

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, FEB. 28, 2023 – Dave Winchester, an assistant park supervisor with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Division of State Parks, has been selected as the department’s Team Member of the Month for February 2023. Winchester was selected for his service to the department and his actions while responding to an incident involving a missing teenager at Castlewood State Park.

Winchester was on duty at the park when he was notified by St. Louis County Police about a 17-year-old who was missing and potentially experiencing a mental health crisis. It was believed that the individual may be hiding somewhere in the park. After receiving further details about the teen’s possible location, Winchester set out on the River Scene Trail in a UTV to begin searching.

Winchester had just began working in the park a few months earlier, so he sought out guidance from fellow team members about the location of a small cave along the trail where he thought the individual may be hiding. His teammates sent him maps and written descriptions from which he was able to locate the cave. Upon arrival, Winchester was able to find the missing teenager and convince him to accompany him back to the trailhead where he was reunited with his family.

“The teamwork and communication skills exhibited while finding the teenager brought the situation to a quick, positive resolution,” said David Meeker, a park and historic site specialist, who nominated Winchester for the award. “Kudos to both Dave and the team!”

Winchester joined the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in May 2022 and resides in House Springs.

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