As the search for a missing East Haddam man stretches into a fourth day, it continues to be “a rescue operation, not a recovery operation,” East Haddam Emergency Management Director Craig Mansfield said late this evening.
And help continues to pour in from around the state, he said.
Despite that fact that no clues or helpful information have been uncovered, “we are still optimistic,” Mansfield said.
The 68-year-old Robert Masci of Boardman Road has been missing since Oct. 18. He was last seen wearing an aqua blue sweatshirt, jeans, sneakers, glasses and a gold chain. He is bald on top with brown hair along the sides. He is said to suffer from a form of dementia.
Earlier today, Mansfield posted information on the town Web site for those who wish to join a redoubled search effort on Saturday.
There will be two shifts, one beginning at 7 a.m. and another beginning at noon. Volunteers are asked to meet at Nathan Hale Ray High School, at 15 School Drive in the Moodus Section of East Haddam, at one of those starting times, and are advised to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and appropriate foot wear for walking through wooded areas and thick brush. (Please do not bring children or family pets.)
Volunteers are expected to spend about three hours per shift helping with the search.
Mansfield noted that those who aren’t physically able to conduct one of the searches in wooded areas can still be helpful with other tasks, such as some roadside searches or helping with feeding volunteers.
“We may have some crews on the roads. It depends on the number of volunteers and how much support staff we have to work with them,” Mansfield said.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and need to show I.D. They also will need to fill out a registration form, or can download one from the town Web site and bring it with them tomorrow.
Help with the rescue continues to pour in to this little town from all corners.
The effort has included Citizen’s Emergency Response Teams, CERT teams, from surrounding towns as well as East Haddam, and fire, police and emergency medical teams from East Haddam and other towns.
“We’ve had calls from every corner of the state with offers to help” Mansfield said.
Urban Search and Rescue crews and the State Police K-9 units also have been, and will continue to be involved, Mansfield said.
One element in the search efforts favor is a forecast of clear skies in the next couple of days.
Again, anyone with information that could help with the rescue of Mr. Masci is asked to call State Police Troop K at 860-537-7500.
Residents also should continue to check their own properties, especially their garages, sheds or other outbuildings where Mr. Masci may have sought shelter.
When Mr. Masci is found, that information will be shared with town residents who have signed up for the emergency alert system via the town Web site, Mansfield said.
Posted Oct. 21, 2011
Related links: East Haddam man still missing more than 24 hours http://easthaddam.htnp.com/2011/10/19/east-haddam-man-still-missing-more-than-24-hours/
Police searching for 68-year-old man in East Haddam http://easthaddam.htnp.com/2011/10/18/police-searching-for-68-year-old-man-in-east-haddam/