• Updated 7:15 p.m. - State Police scale back search for possible missing girl
    Staff Report | May 10,2013
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    Vyto Starinskas / Staff Photo

    The search continues in Center Rutland Friday morning.
    Vermont State Police announced Friday that they are scaling back their search efforts to locate a girl who reportedly went missing Thursday afternoon near the intersection of Route 4A and West Proctor Road in Center Rutland.

    Twenty-four hours after the start of a massive operation involving 70 ground searchers plus air support, Vermont State Police Capt. Donald Patch said at 6 p.m. Friday that they had not found any trace of the girl who reportedly had a brief encounter with a motorist before running into the woods on the west edge of the West Proctor Road.

    "Because of the amount of area the searchers covered today compared with the statistical models for someone that age and how far they would have traveled since the time of the missing person report we believe the chance of success for further searches in that area is small," Patch said during an interview inside the Center Rutland Fire Station.

    Patch said searchers, including upwards of 70 police, firefighters from several towns, Vermont Fish and Game officials and a Vermont National Guard helicopter, combed a 2.5 mile radius centered on the spot where the girl reportedly went into the woods. The maximum distance covered by a 6-year-old - the estimated age of the missing girl - in search models was no more than two miles in a 24-hour span, Patch said.

    But the search for the girl isn't ending and neither is an investigation being conducted by Vermont State Police detectives who are continuing to look for clues related to the only solid evidence in the case: the account of an unidentified 911 caller who told police she stopped to speak with the girl.

    During that brief exchange, the girl reportedly said she was hurt and state police say the motorist - whose identity is known to police but hasn't been released - saw evidence that the girl was injured.

    A detail only released Friday night by police is that someone else may have seen the girl too - a man with Oregon plates who police say was apparently stopped on the side of Route 4A eating dinner.

    The man was described as being in his late 20s to early 30s with shoulder length hair tied in dreadlocks. He was driving a white truck with a white cap.

    Anyone with information about the missing girl or the man who may have witnessed the encounter is asked to call state police at 773-9101.

    Vermont State Police issued the following press release at 5:55 p.m.


    This evening the Vermont State Police scaled back the search to a limited continued search operation for the reported endangered juvenile female on the West Proctor Road in West Rutland.

    During today's search, investigators checked with neighboring New England states and New York for missing children reports thru Vermont Informational and Analysis Center, with negative results for female juveniles matching the description in this case. The description was also compared to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, with no matches. And members checked all local schools, and all children were accounted for.

    A second canvas of the neighborhood was conducted; a canvas of businesses along VT Route 4A, near the point of last seen; and numerous searches of abandoned or vacant building in the area…all with negative results.

    Detectives are also trying to locate a possible witness to the reported incident. A white male, late 20-30s, shoulder length hair in dreadlocks; who was seen parked across from business Vermont Route 4A in a white truck w white cap, bearing unknown Oregon plates during the same timeframe the juvenile was seen.

    During today's operations, there were upwards of 70 first responders that participated a search; police K9 tracks were conducted; and the National Guard helicopter conducted numerous over-flights. The search was initiated yesterday and continued overnight and into today, with the helicopter using infrared cameras and high-intensity spot lights. The New England K-9 teams used air scent dogs and covered a 1/2 mile radius in the area where the juvenile was reported last seen. VSP Search and Rescue along with Vermont Fish and Game and local fire department members conducted dismounted searches in which they extended the search area out to approximately for a 2 1/2 mile from where the juvenile was reported last seen. No clues or evidence were found.

    The Vermont State Police and the Rutland Sheriff's Department will conduct strategic patrols in the area throughout the weekend.

    The case is an active and ongoing investigation. Detectives with the Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation continue to explore all investigatory possibilities and opportunities.

    “Our department takes all reports of endangered juveniles seriously, and have taken significant steps in locating this potential victim,” said Captain Dave Covell, Chief Criminal Investigator. “We encourage anyone in the community that may have information about this case to please come forward to law enforcement to provide information that may aid us in this case.”

    When new information becomes available, an updated press release will be issued.

    Anyone that has information regarding this incident, please call the Rutland Barracks at 802-773-9101 or submit an anonymous tip to www.vtips.info. If you come into contact with a child matching this description, please call 911 immediately.

    - earlier Rutland Herald story

    UPDATED 1:15 p.m. —Vermont State Police say they are continuing a comprehensive search and neighborhood canvas for a reported missing 6-year-old in Proctor - but how much longer the search will last remains to be seen.

    "At some point this afternoon we will have to reevaluate how long the search should continue," said Vermont State Police Capt. David Covell.

    Covell and other state police and Rutland County Sheriff's Department commanders involved in a search that started late Thursday afternoon told reporters just before noon today that teams of searchers have combed a 1 1/2-mile radius centered on the intersection of Business Route 4 and West Proctor Road where the girl was last seen.

    So far, Covell said police have not found the girl or received any leads on her location. In fact, none of the residents and business owners in the area have reported seeing the girl who police said was described as having dark brown straight shoulder length hair and a missing left front tooth.

    The girl was reportedly wearing a red skirt, white t-shirt, white flip flops and a mood ring and gave her name as either "Angel" or "Angela," police said.

    While some neighbors on West Proctor Road said Friday they wondered whether the report of a missing girl was a hoax from an anonymous caller, Covell said police have verified the identity of the 911 caller.

    He also said the woman who called police has cooperated with authorities and he said police have no reason to doubt the veracity of her account.

    The woman told police that she was driving slowly on the road when she was approached by the girl who said she had been hurt and displayed signs of injury.

    The child then reportedly ran into the woods on the west side of the road.

    Anyone with any information should call the Rutland Barracks at 802-773-9101 or submit an anonymous tip to www.vtips.info. If you come into contact with a child matching this description, please call 911 immediately.
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