BRUCETON MILLS — The physique of a Morgantown lady lacking since Oct. 3 was present in Preston County Saturday afternoon.
Monongalia County Sheriff Perry Palmer introduced the invention in a press launch following an intensive search that started Saturday morning in Bruceton Mills.
Palmer’s launch stated Melanie Marie Gardner’ Jeep was present in a distant location off Casteel Highway in Hazelton. Her stays have been positively recognized as Gardner and a medical expert was known as to the scene.
The lacking particular person investigation now turns to 1 that may decide if foul play is suspected.
Greater than 100 folks gathered Saturday morning at Little Sandy’s Truck Cease in Bruceton Mills, and different places alongside Interstate 68 in Preston County, for an enormous seek for Gardner.
The 32-year-old lady was reported lacking Oct. 3 to the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Division. She was final seen driving her black 2016 Jeep Patriot with West Virginia registration that day.
Little or no info had been launched concerning Gardner’s disappearance besides that her mobile phone final pinged, or communicated the cellphone’s approximate location, off of I-68 close to Exit 29 – Hazelton Highway in Preston County.
Members of the Mountaineer Space Rescue Group (MARG) led the search, forming search groups and assigning areas for every to look.
Previous to discovering the Jeep, MARG officers stated the working concept is Gardner was in an accident and ran off the street. This concept doesn’t get rid of the chance for different explanations as to her disappearance.
Palmer, whose company is investigating, was stated to be within the space helping with the search. Nonetheless, The Preston County Workplace of Emergency Administration was the authority with jurisdiction as a result of the search was going down in Preston County.
Palmer was apparently unable to talk with media Saturday concerning the case as a result of jurisdictional complexities and search location.
MARG’s JoAnn Snoderly served as the general public info officer for the search and stated groups within the area appeared for 3 key issues whereas additionally reporting anything that will look misplaced or suspicious.
“We’re going to be on the lookout for indicators of the automobile off of the street. We’re going to be on the lookout for a mobile phone. And, after all, we’re going to be on the lookout for Melanie immediately,” Snoderly stated as groups have been heading to their search areas.
Snoderly stated over 60 group volunteers confirmed up to affix the search, in addition to about 35 skilled search and rescue (SAR) volunteers who got here from at the very least three states — together with West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland – based mostly on what teams she was conscious of on the time she spoke with The Dominion Put up.
“We’ll have about 15 off-road automobile duties and 19 floor duties,” she stated. “We’re primarily basing these duties on the forensic mobile phone knowledge that we’ve got.”
Having the massive variety of volunteers – and the wide range of automobiles and assets they supplied – made it simpler to completely search the realm.
“Our purpose is to be very gradual and methodical, as a result of we don’t need to miss something. So having these folks on foot will actually assist that and people ATV’s can actually attain some areas that possibly the parents on foot can’t attain,” Snoderly stated. “We’ll even have some canines out immediately, and I perceive some people confirmed up with horses, so we may have them out in a few of these tougher to succeed in areas as nicely.”
She stated a couple of drones have been additionally deployed within the search.
With so many volunteers, security was a precedence for everybody, and every group was briefed on security measures to cut back the possibility of harm.
Search groups spent the day methodically combing the roads within the Bruceton Mills and Hazelton areas
Snoderly stated Gardner’s household labored relentlessly to recruit volunteers for the search.
“We actually need to thank all of the emergent volunteers who got here out right here immediately to assist,” Snoderly stated, including it helped them search a number of space.
A number of native businesses provided their help within the search, she stated, together with Mon and Preston sheriff’s departments, Bruceton Fireplace Division, EMS personnel and the Preston County Workplace of Emergency Administration.
“Coopers Rock allowed tenting for volunteers. Little Sandy’s supplied breakfast for volunteers. Starbucks donated espresso,” Snoderly stated. “So, there’s actually been an amazing outpouring of help and we’re very appreciative.”
Snoderly stated updates would want to return from the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Division.
Anybody with info that will assist with the continuing investigation is requested to contact the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Division at 304-291-7260 or name MECCA 911.