Corporal Michael D. Murray of the Coudersport PSP filed the following report:
A call was received from a resident of Roulette Township, Potter County, PA in the area of Atkins Rd. and the West Branch of Fishing Creek Rd. reporting that they heard someone yelling in a male voice “Help Me!”
The caller checked with neighbors and area residents did a search before contacting the PSP at approximately 2130 hours.
The calls of “Help Me!” were heard by four different area residents.
PSP responded to the scene and conducted an area canvass and a hasty search with negative results. The call of “Help” was heard by responding Troopers as well.
When no one was discovered, PSP contacted Roulette Fire Dept for assistance with the search. A search of the area was made until approximately 0100 hours on 01/08/08 with negative results.
The area in hearing distance was thoroughly searched during the hours of darkness before calling the search for the night. Both manpower and a thermal imaging device were used in the search area.
The search resumed during daylight hours, using additional personnel.
The original search area was searched, as well as widening the search area. A thorough search was made for an approximate 1 mile radius of the focal point with negative results.
The PSP helicopter was used for a short period of time on this date, but was severely limited due to weather conditions.
It has been determined that anyone in need of assistance during the evening hours on 01/07/08 is no longer at that location and in need of assistance.
PSP has checked with area hospitals and no treatment was provided for anyone with outdoor related activities. There are no current missing person reports filed with Police Agencies in the area to match the description of this incident.
Personnel on scene-- Approximately 35 searchers from the following agencies, as well as support personnel:
Pennsylvania State Police
Roulette Fire Dept. (Chemical Engine 46)
PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources
Pennsylvania Game Commission
PA Fish and Boat Commission
Coudersport VFD was on standby with an RTV as medical officers
Corporal Murray adds,
"I would like to add that a call was received. It was taken as a serious call by our personnel responding to the scene, as are all calls."
"The information received via phone was verified and was credible. A “hasty” search was conducted and no one was found." We contacted the Roulette Fire Department for additional help, and the volunteers responded en-masse."
"They took this call seriously. These volunteers searched through the middle of the night, in horrible conditions. They all gave up their time. Many gave up their sleep for the night before going to work in the morning. They conducted a thorough search and were confident that no one was left out there overnight."
" We resumed the search this morning to make sure that anybody who was in need of assistance last night was no longer in need of that assistance (better safe than sorry)."
"When agencies and volunteers were contacted for assistance, they again responded. There were paid searchers and volunteer searchers. Many of the volunteer searchers gave up a day of work or a day of leave to assist in the search. Their efforts are appreciated."
"A thorough search of all the terrain deemed to be in the possible area of the call for help was made. The search area was mapped out and even extended. No one was located."
"It never fails to amaze me with the level of commitment provided by our volunteer fire departments and ambulances. These are some of the most caring and devoted people in our communities. They are one of the reasons that our communities are what they are. I extend to them my utmost gratitude and respect."
Cpl. Michael D. MURRAY
Crime Unit Supervisor
Pennsylvania State Police