Jogger vanishes at state forest land; car found unlocked, keys inside
BEAR GAP - A Northumberland man reported missing late Wednesday was last seen at Walmart Supercenter in Coal Township, according to police.
Michael E. Kenney, 54, was observed on store surveillance footage about 5 p.m. purchasing nutritional supplements. He was wearing casual business attire, including khakis.
He is believed to have driven eight miles to the Roaring Creek Tract of the Weiser State Forest to go for a jog. A park ranger noted Kenney was a familiar face at the forest.
A husband and father, Kenney was reported missing by his family at 10:24 p.m. His cell phone was tracked to the forest parking lot along Route 54 between 3 and 4 a.m. Thursday. His two-door Honda was found unlocked, with the keys inside and a window rolled down.
Police said Kenney had not made any threats against his own life and was not believed to be in distress leading up to his disappearance.
Kenney is physically fit, a forestry spokesman said. He has a thin build, blue eyes and stands at 6 feet, 1 inch. He's a marathon runner, too, according to race information online, and a licensed physical therapist, a records search showed.
Police were following on a report of three people spotted at the scene Wednesday - a male driver who exited and re-entered a sport utility vehicle with two passengers parked next to Kenney's vehicle.
100 join search
Approximately 100 emergency responders searched the 8,000-acre tract of forest. The main gravel road through the Roaring Creek Tract spans eight miles west to east between Routes 54 and 42, with dozens of natural trails leading off of it into the woods. Access was restricted to the public at both entrances. "Hasty teams" of two and four people searched by foot, and search dogs were used. A state police helicopter assisted. It's believed that visual checks were made of the three reservoirs.
A majority of volunteers had left the scene late Thursday afternoon; however, a forestry spokesman said forestry employees and police officers were expected to be on scene throughout the night to conduct searches as directed.
Command moved to Rt. 42
The command post was moved from the Route 54 parking lot to the forestry office on Route 42 near Aristes.
The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources led the search. Several law enforcement agencies are cooperating in the investigation.
The missing person report was made to Point Township police, and the forest parking lot where Kenney's vehicle was found is located inside Coal Township. Pennsylvania State Police are also investigating.
Portions of the forest are located within Mount Carmel Township, from which police officers also responded. Volunteers from Columbia, Northumberland and Schuylkill counties responded.
Kenney's vehicle was taken to the Coal Township police station.