WINSLOW — Police, fire and rescue personnel, and game wardens took to the air, the water and shores of the Kennebec River on Saturday afternoon, looking for a girl or a young woman who might have gone into the river.
The person, thought to be age 16 to 20, was last seen by a cyclist about 2:15 p.m. on a bench near the Two Cent Bridge on the Winslow side of the river, according to Officer Brandon Lund, of the Winslow Police Department. When the cyclist returned 20 minutes later, he found the woman’s clothing folded up neatly on a bench, along with boots she was wearing; but the woman was gone, Lund said.
“We’ve contacted numerous resources in an attempt to locate her,” Lund said. “We’ve also photographed the clothing she was wearing. We do not know who she is.”
Lund said the woman is of slender build with short hair, about 5 feet tall with a nose piercing. She was wearing size six and a half black boots, with a zipper; black blue jeans; and a flowered-print, button-up blouse.
Lt. Paul Begin, of the Winslow Fire and Rescue Department, said search teams from Waterville and Winslow in two boats and on two personal watercraft scanned the river from the Ticonic Bridge, which connects the two communities, to the boat landing in Sidney. Rescue personnel also were stationed on the Donald Carter Bridge and along the riverbanks.
“Right now I have a feeling she did go in, because her clothes were there,” Begin said.
An airplane from the Maine Warden Service was dispatched to search the river from Augusta upstream to the falls in Waterville. A game warden also was on the ground at the command post at Fort Halifax Park in Winslow, where the Sebasticook River flows into the Kennebec.
Begin said the dams on the Kennebec River upstream from Waterville were closed to reduce the river’s heavy flow. Fish-catching apparatus at the dam in Waterville also was closed.
Begin said the river was flowing high enough over the dam to allow passage from Head of Falls to the lower part of the river. The river at Fort Halifax is about 160 yards wide, he said.