Family of missing Minnesota couple accepts search end

WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. (AP) — Family members of a Minnesota couple missing in the Italian cruise ship disaster say they accept the decision to end the search.

In a blog posting Tuesday, the children of Jerry and Barbara Heil of White Bear Lake, Minn., say they are “certainly disheartened to hear the news” but understand.

Italian emergency officials decided to end the search due to the danger to rescue workers. The Heils are the only Americans missing in the Jan. 13 wreck.

The Heils’ children say they “cannot express enough” their gratitude to everyone involved in the search and rescue effort.


Family members say they “find comfort knowing Mom and Dad are now in a better place, free from any worries.”

The Heil family is making plans for a memorial service.