CENTRAL WISCONSIN (WAOW) - After 48 hours without any contact, the family of Ryan Messerschmidt said the Antigo native has been found by authorities in Costa Rica.
According to his father James, who lives in Eau Claire, a combination of embassy officials and Costa Rica police located Messerschmidt Tuesday.
James told our sister station in Wausau that authorities believe Messerschmidt was hiding out in his car near the city of Liberia in attempts to avoid people he believed were trying to hurt him. When he needed medical attention, he allegedly went into town.
Prior to these new developments, Messerschmidt was last seen at a hospital on Monday.
James said the family became worried when Messerschmidt didn't call them earlier this week.
"He calls me and talks to me for quite a while every evening," James said.
In the latest update from police in Costa Rica, the family received a photo of Messerschmidt beaten up in the back of a truck.
"He was in really rough shape," said James. "He was in the back of a pickup, torn t-shirt, underwear. Just some awful gashes on his leg, couldn't see his head real well, but well enough to know it was him."
Our sister station has not received details from authorities about the case, but James outlined what police told him regarding the chain of events.
According to his father, Messerschmidt was held overnight at the police station after he was found in the truck, but left around 6 a.m. Monday. He then apparently checked into a hospital around 4 in the afternoon that same day, but left the facility three hours later.
"It's so bizarre," said James. "We don't know who we're getting the truth from and who we're not."
Messerschmidt currently lives in River Falls. Police there are in contact with the State Department. A spokesperson for the organization released the following statement regarding the case.
"The U.S. Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad have no greater responsibility than the protection of U.S. citizens overseas. When a U.S. citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts.
Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment."