About Missouri Valley SAR

The Missouri Valley Search and Rescue Team, LLC is awaiting IRS recoginition of Not for Profit, 501(c)(3) organization status operating in the State of Missouri. MOVAL was formed in order to continue the mission that was started by the Shawn Hornbeck Foundation. The team provides services for missing children and adults in Missouri and Illinois as well as offering safety education classes for both children and their families. The team is completly comprised of volunteers who dedicate their time to help others and is funded complely by donations! We operate in any weather condition, day or night, 365 days a year! Our services are offered to Law Enforcement, Fire Departments and other Emergency Service organizations FREE of charge. Our training allows us to continue searching when others can't!


In May of 2013 Missouri Valley Search and Rescue Team was formed from membership of the Hornbeck Search and Rescue Team that wanted to continue to provide SAR services after it was announced that the Shawn Hornbeck Foundation ( the parent organization over the Hornbeck SAR Team ) was closing its doors after more than 10 years of service to the community. The Shawn Hornbeck Search and Rescue Team was co-formed by Craig Akers and Chris Diamond, the primary leadership members of the search for then missing 11 year old Shawn Hornbeck from Richwoods, Missouri. Family, friends and volunteers also came together and searched for Shawn when he vanished from near his home in October of 2002. After tens of thousands of man hours searching for Shawn and learning techniques of how to properly search the group of dedicated volunteers decided that they would form an official Search and Rescue Team that would help search for other missing loved ones.

Since the early creation of the team the team has undergone many changes including the type of team that is available to the Emergency Services community. The team began as a ground search unit until our first official K-9, Trax, was introduced to the team on New Years Eve of 2003. After this addition to the team the K-9 division of the team exploded! We at one point had 18 K-9's that were in various stages of training or certifications with every member of the team training and working a K-9.

As with any organization that has been around for several years our membership has come and gone and been replaced by new dedicated volunteers who have continued our mission of helping others in times of need. As new members have come in to replace ones that have gone to pursue other aspects of their lives our team focus has changed from the K-9 focused to a team that dedicates itself to Ground Search specialists. We also have become known for a very unique talents and services that we offer that other teams in the area either do not offer or do not offer as in depth as we do. Currently the two programs that make us a unique resource is our Command Operations Support service and our SAR Training/Evaluations that we can offer. Most teams do not have the skills, resources or dedication to helping actually plan and execute an actual search from the command side of things. We help local agencies with resources such as planning, operations and logistics to help with the execution of an actual search. Most agencies do not train for a missing person so their knowledge is limited in how to actually conduct a safe and throuough search, but that is where we excel!

In May of 2013 the Akers Family had decided, after a lot of deliberation and talking within the family, that it was finally time to end the foundation's operations, including the Search and Rescue Team, that was still operating, as they no longer had the time, energy and resources to commit to the organization like they thought they should. The membership of the search team decided that they wanted to continue the original mission of the foundation and keep an active search team in operation, so the Missouri Valley Search and Rescue Team was formed. The team was created to continue the programs that were in place by the foundation as well as create new programs and services that would continue to be FREE to those in need!

We are currently working to get our Not for Profit status with the State of Missouri and our 501(c)(3) designation with the IRS. We will update the website when these items have been obtained.
All Information is © 2013 - 2023 Missouri Valley SAR - All Rights Reserved       Website By: C. Diamond