Wife of missing Robbinsdale man says 'nobody would help'

7:03 AM, Feb 28, 2013   |    comments
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ROBBINSDALE, Minn. - A Robbinsdale man is missing and feared drowned after he disappeared while body surfing in a small village in Mexico Tuesday.

Nancy Stoneberg told KARE 11 by phone her husband Mark was swept out in the ocean moments after he started surfing in Sayulita about 5 p.m.

Sayulita is described as a small resort town of just 4,000 people and Stoneberg's friends say by the time searchers had organized it was almost dark.

Stoneberg said she tried to get help from a lifeguard on duty and a nearby police officer, but they apparently told her Mark was too far out. They said they could try searching in the morning.

"Just kind of a flippant attitude, it was insane. He was out there. We could have recovered him and nobody would help," she said.

Stoneberg said she was able to find some people with a fishing boat who were able to search until dark. 

Nancy and Mark were traveling with another couple. Her brother and sister-in-law arrived Wednesday to comfort Nancy.

"I think at this point, you just go on autopilot and do what you have to do to get him back and I try not to think of much else. So you just do what you have to do," she said.

Her three grown children are back home waiting for any information in Robbinsdale.

"He needs to come back. He doesn't deserve just to be left out there. No one does. He's a human being," said his 18-year-old daughter, Sami Stoneberg. 

She said her parents had never surfed before but were training for weeks before their trip to Mexico.

"They were training like 10 weeks before to learn how to balance and what not. So they were super excited about it. My mom said they were having a really good time, a really good time before everything happened," she said.

She told KARE 11 if anyone could survive a riptide and still be alive it would be her dad, a former bodybuilder and career Xcel Energy lineman.

Family friend Tom Butler calls Stoneberg a pillar of the community, and said that at the very least his body should be recovered to give his family closure.

"All I know if this gets enough exposure at least if nothing else, tourists and vacationers will be more prepared and know to be pretty darn prepared to take care of yourself and be safe because some of these areas truly have no support," Nancy added.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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