Scout camp, two waterways will be focus of Sunday search
Approximately 20 people gathered at the St. Joseph School Hall on Wednesday night for a pre-search meeting in preparation of a Sunday search for Dan Wolboldt, the North Warren man who has been missing since last month.
The search will include a land component a search at Boy Scout Camp Olmsted in Scandia as well as a water component on the Conewango Creek and Allegheny River.
Buster Godden, who is coordinating the search, said that, on the land side, the goal is to search all 600 acres of Camp Olmsted as well as 300 to 400 additional acres of the surrounding area.
“(We) want six-man teams if we can,” said Godden. “We’ll cover the areas pretty well.”
The longest hikes might be a mile in one direction, but Godden noted that the terrain makes that mile a challenge. “It’s pretty steep terrain back there,” he said. “If we have enough people, we can knock that out in three hours.”
“(Camp Olmsted) was a favorite area of Dan’s,” he said. “Scout camp is getting ready to kick into high gear for the summer.”
Godden said that “for my peace of mind,” he wants to ensure that Wolboldt is not there.
“Let’s hope we find nothing,” he added.
The land phase of the search will commence at the dining hall at Camp Olmsted at 9 a.m.
Greg Trisket, who is coordinating the water search, said the goal is to canvass the Conewango Creek from the G.G. Greene property to Point Park and the Allegheny River from Point Park to Betts Park and then from Starbrick to Buckaloons. Motor boats will search the area in between due to the nature of the river there.
Individuals wishing to participate in the water search will meet at 9 a.m. Sunday at Betts Park and organize from there. Trisket explained that the number of searchers and the condition of the river will dictate whether the water search is held. That decision will be made Sunday morning.
While the hope is that they find nothing, planning is underway in the event that they do.
“I don’t want kids, really,” Godden said. “I’m anticipating finding nothing, but we could and I don’t think that’s the proper thing for young people. There are other missing people in this area. We could stumble onto something.”
Scouts who want to participate can help prepare food and load canoes. Godden said, “We will find something for everyone to do.”
Conewango Township Police Officer Charlie Andersen agreed.
“Being that we’re 30 days missing…if he’s out there and deceased it isn’t going to be pretty,” he said.
He explained to those in attendance what they should do if they come across something.
“If in your endeavors…you find something that looks suspicious, that might be a part of this case, mark it with a balloon (and) leave someone there and contact 911,” Andersen said. “It is a missing person at this point. Anything that is found, we have to treat it as a potential crime scene. (It’s) important not to disturb it.”
He did caution the group that “we are missing a shotgun. If that’s found, not sure if it’s going to be loaded…there is a shotgun unaccounted for (in this case).”
“All the facts and physical evidence points to the Conewango (Creek) that night, either the night of the 22nd or sometime during the day of the 23rd (of March),” he added. “We’re continuing to follow leads daily. Right now we just want to find him…that’s our purpose here.”