The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


June 24, 2014

63 use grids, walk trails in search for missing runner

NATALIE— Determined to not give up on the search for a missing 54-year-old Point Township man, Robert Kurilla, assistant district forester for the Weiser Forest District Resource Management Center, said a team of about 65 will be back out today, “giving it our best shot at finding him.”

On Tuesday, the sixth day of the search for Michael Kenney, 63 people gridded areas in the Roaring Creek Tract of the Weiser State Forest and adjacent private lands and walked trails and Route 54, according to Robert Martynowych, public information officer. Boats also checked the small Bear Gap No. 5 reservoir.

So far, more than 5,000 acres have been grid-searched and more than 90 miles of trails have been covered. The forest spans 8,000 acres in Northumberland and Columbia counties.

Kurilla on Monday night said searchers had checked the area around the dams at the reservoir but found nothing. “We spent time at the shore lines looking,” he said. “We had about 130 people out there over the weekend.”

Kenney’s family members reported him missing last Wednesday after he failed to return from going for a run in the forest. Kenney had run there before, they said. Adding to the mystery was Kenney’s Honda sedan, found in a parking lot near the Bear Gap Reservoir on the western end of the forest, close to the entrance from Route 54 near Elysburg. The car was unlocked with its keys in the ignition.

“This past weekend, we had people handing out fliers on Route 54, seeing if anyone might have seen Kenney,” Kurilla said. “We’ll be out there again. We’ll keep going.”

On Monday evening, an informational traffic stop was conducted by law enforcement officials on Route 54 near Natalie. Information gathered from motorists is being evaluated, Martynowych said.

Due to the daily search activity, the Roaring Creek Tract and the three reservoirs continue to be closed to the public.

Administration of the search has been moved from the Statewide Incident Management Team to the local forest district. Anyone with information is asked to call the Weiser Resource Management Center at (570) 875-6450.

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