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Two Years Later: Veteran, UW-Stout student James Liedtka still missing

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EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - It's been 730 days since a veteran and UW-Stout student went missing.

His family said they continue to give his story exposure so they can finally have some closure.

"Our family has felt very defeated the last two years," said Liz Norder, cousin of James Liedtka.

Then-28-year-old James Liedtka was last seen in the early morning hours of November 4, 2018.

During that time, surveillance footage shows Liedtka walking behind the Pickle Tavern on Water Street in Eau Claire, heading toward the bike trail.

Two years later, he's still missing.

His cousin Liz Norder said they've hit a lot of dead ends, but they haven't lost hope.

His family continues to do private searches every week, scoping the Chippewa River and looking for clothing items.

"Naturally, we want to hope for the fact that James is alive and he just needed a break. However, sometimes we do get the feeling that maybe he's not and we would like to at least have him found so that he can get a proper goodbye from all of us," Norder said. "Not knowing what happened to him has really torn each of us apart and we just feel very lost."

His family has also done a few podcasts with the Vanished, Big Mad True Crime, and an episode of the Missing to spread the word about his case.

Norder describes her cousin as someone who is smart, a smart aleck, mischievous, and loves his family.

She also said if James is watching or reading this, to please let his family know he's safe, especially his mom and dad.

Eau Claire police say there have not been any new leads to investigate in the case, and they welcome any new information people could provide.

Liedtka's family also has a "Bring James Home" Facebook page where they post about his disappearance as well as other missing people.

Katrina Lim

Katrina Lim joined the News 18 team in August 2019 as a multimedia journalist. She was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey but has lived in all time zones of the contiguous U.S.A.

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