CURRITUCK CO., NC A Currituck County spokesperson says the search for a missing boater is now classified as a recovery mission.

Lindsay Voorhees says they are actively searching for 26-year-old Ricky Ballance, who went canoeing Dec. 23 and never came back, but they have turned their focus to recovery.

James Parks said that Ballance's canoe, waders and phone had been recovered, but there was no sign of his son-in-law.

The family hoped his cell phone would help investigators find Ballance.

Ken Winslow, Balance's stepdad, said, 'The last phone call he made was at 4:17 p.m.'

Winslow said investigators were contacting the cell phone provider to get the exact location of Ricky's last call. He hoped that information would lead them to Ricky.

Parks explained Ballance went out on the water to throw corn to attract ducks for hunting.

Winslow said the family is grateful for the outpouring of support and help. He said he hopes they'll be bringing Ricky home soon.

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