By Dave Rogers
---- — GEORGETOWN — Local police and firefighters are expected to comb the 2,100-acre Crane Pond Wildlife Management Area this morning as they continue to search for a Thurlow Street man missing since Thursday.
Police Chief James Mulligan said local emergency responders, augmented by Groveland police, should be out in force starting at 8 a.m. The official search for 65-year-old Bo Hedberg began Monday morning when local, state and environmental police climbed aboard a snow track and spent several hours scouring the snowed-in area.
Hedberg was reported missing by his wife, Gail Hedberg, Thursday evening, saying she had returned home and found no signs of her husband. Gail Hedberg is the owner of The Shake Station on Unicorn Street in downtown Newburyport.
According to a Facebook page created by Gail Hedberg, her husband was injured in a motor vehicle accident a week prior to his disappearance and was wearing a green ski jacket and jeans when he left the house.
A call to Gail Hedberg was not immediately returned.
Yesterday, a search of the Crane Pond area by a group of eight to 10 family friends turned up no clues, according to a post on Facebook. The searchers used snowshoes and ski poles to traverse the snow-covered area around Crane Pond. Group members said they won’t search today because they don’t want to distract police dogs or obstruct the progress of law enforcement. But they may head back out tomorrow if today’s search comes up empty.
Mulligan said while he knows people are desperate to find Hedberg, he urged folks to let trained emergency responders conduct the searches, saying he is fearful of volunteers becoming lost themselves.
“But again I know the passion and I understand people will do what they need to do,” Mulligan said.
The Crane Pond area, which has a handful of nature trails meandering through a densely wooded terrain, is located in a remote corner of Georgetown straddling the Byfield/West Newbury border. It is one of the largest undeveloped tracts of land in the region. Much of it has been flooded in recent years by a steady return of beavers, and many parts of it are inaccessible due to wetlands.
Asked whether police might expand their search, Mulligan said it made more sense to stay around the Crane Pond area based on a cellphone ping they picked up at the location.
“Right now, our focus is that location, because literally that’s the only evidence we have,” Mulligan said.
The family has put together a Facebook page asking others to help them in the search at facebook.com/FindBoHedberg. Those with any information should call Georgetown police at 978-352-5700.