Headwaters Search Saturday Night Update

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Despite todays effort she was not located.  A smaller scale operation will continue tomorrow.

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Headwaters Search Saturday Morning April 25

  

 (Gallatin County, Mont.)  70 mostly volunteer searchers started scouring the Missoui River Headwaters this morning looking for the 8 year old girl missing since Sunday.  Resources include; 1 helicopter, 1 Civil Air Patrol plane, 9 boats, 8 dog teams, 10 ATVs, 20 ground searchers and a management team.  The weather has reduced visibility and recent rain has increased the river flow and decreased water visibility.  Incident Commander Sgt Jeremy Kopp stated “We are not deterred by conditions today and will do everything in our power to find her.”  Sheriff Gootkin would like to express his great appreciation to the community members and business who have worked so hard to support this operation.  “From food and beverages to support for the family and responders this community has been great.” he said.

Responsible Agency is The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

Assisting agencies include: Madison County, Sweet Grass County, Stillwater County, Broadwater County, Lewis and Clark County, Fish Wildlife and Parks, Civil Air Patrol, Central Helicopters, Highway Patrol, Three Forks Ambulance, AMR Ambulance, Gallatin County Road Department, Mt. Dept of Transportation and Montana Rail Link.

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Headwaters Search Update for Friday April 24

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(Gallatin County, Mont.) Today 7 dog teams, the Two Bear Helicopter from Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, Search and Rescue Boats from Sweetgrass, Park, Broadwater, Gallatin County and 1 private boat, 2 four wheelers, a kayaker, an AMR ambulance and MHP were dedicated to looking for the 8 year old girl lost in the Missouri River Sunday night.  Weather played into today’s operations with reduced visibility, higher and cloudy river conditions and rain showers.  Incident Commander, Sheriff’s Sgt Jeremy Kopp stated that Saturday is slated for the largest operation so far this week.

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Headwaters Search Update Thursday 6:00 P.M.

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(Gallatin County, Mont.) The search for the 8 year old girl lost in the river ended it’s forth full day Thursday.  Searchers from Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue assisted by a Park County Sheriff’s boat and the Highway Patrol helicopter was unsuccessful despite the addition of 7 dog teams on the river.  (Unconfirmed local sources say the stretch of river between the confluence of the Jefferson and Madison to the confluence of the Gallatin was named the Sacajawea.)  Sheriff Gootkin stated “We have everything we need and are ready to find her, all we need is for the river to cooperate a little.” The search will continue tomorrow.  Photographs and video courtesy of the Sheriff’s Office.  #####

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Headwaters Search Update

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(Gallatin County, Mont.)  Tuesday’s search included 4 dog teams, 2 helicopters, 12 ground searchers, 4 divers and 4 boats.  Assisting were searchers from Flathead, Madison and Lewis and Clark Counties.  Today’s effort will have 3 boats with divers, side scan sonar and underwater cameras.  2 Helicopters and several ground searchers will be working the area.  Park County and MHP are assisting with the effort today.  The family has expressed appreciation for all the support but today requests no visitors at the site.

 

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Search Continues for Missing 8 year old

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(Gallatin County, Mont.) 48 Searches worked to locate the 8 year old girl that went into the headwaters of the Missouri River Sunday evening.  Sheriff’s Search managers concentrated on the area last seen as well as possible locations downstream.  Today’s effort included 4 boats with underwater cameras, 3 kayaks, ground searchers, dogs, 2 helicopters and a fixed wing airplane.  Search and Rescue Divers are also on the scene.  Most all the Rescuers are volunteer and members of Sheriff’s Search and Rescue units.  Sheriff Gootkin said “As the day progresses the light strikes the water at different angles and provides a completely different view than hours before.”  The scene is located near the confluence of the Jefferson and Madison Rivers which creates some challenges to searchers.  Strong currents create swirling pockets with large holes.  Local land owners report some of the holes to be in excess of 30 feet deep.  Searches report visibility from the air to vary between 1 and 5 feet.  Sheriff Gootkin stated “We are all frustrated that we can’t just go out and find her but rivers are tough.  There are many hazards that are not visible from the surface including trees, wire, rocks and strong currents. The power of the current is also very easy to underestimate from the surface.  Imagine being blind folded and pushed around randomly then trying to find a small item in a big room.  We could be a foot away and not locate her.”  He continues, “We are committed to doing everything we can plus some extra to bring this to a conclusion for the family.  Resources from as far away as Flathead County including Madison and Lewis and Clark Counties, Customs and Border Protection, Highway Patrol, Civil Air Patrol, Highway Department, AMR Ambulance and local volunteers are lending assistance.  It has been great to also receive community support for the effort and the family.” Plans are in place to continue the effort tomorrow if necessary.  Photographs courtesy of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

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Telephone Scam

  The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received a number of complaints from citizens regarding a scam that is occurring within Gallatin County. The caller informs the person who answers that they have criminal charges pending and to send money for these charges to be stopped. The Caller ID indicates the phone number is 406-582-2125. Although this number is the number to the Sheriff’s Office, it is a scam. These phone calls are not originating from our office. Please do not respond to their requests.  Undersheriff Dan Springer 615 S. 16th Ave. Bozeman, MT. 59715 (406) 582-2125 (w) (406) 539-4096 (c)

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Headwaters Search

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At approximately 7:30 PM on Sunday, April 19, 2015, the Gallatin County 911 Center was called and advised that an 8-year-old girl had fallen into the river while playing at the Headwaters State Park.  The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Gallatin County Search and Rescue, MHP and Summit Air and multiple EMS agencies (approximately 50 personnel) were activated and began seaching for the missing girl.  Efforts were downgraded after dark., but Sheriff’s personnel will be on scene throughout the night  The search will resume at full force at first light.

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Vehicle Versus Pedestrian Hit and Run

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On April 17, 2015 at approximately 5:50 pm, Belgrade Police Officers responded to a reported collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian. The crash occurred on private property, on a vacant lot near the intersection of Jackrabbit Lane and Happy Lane. The incident occurred following some sort of a verbal altercation between the driver and pedestrian.  The pedestrian was treated at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital for minor injuries.  The driver of the vehicle fled the crash site in his vehicle.  He is described as a Caucasian male in his early 30’s, with short blond or light brown hair and several tattoos on his arm.  He was said to be wearing small round glasses, though the victim could not articulate whether they were prescription glasses or sunglasses.  The vehicle is described as a black Ford Ranger, possibly early 2000’s model and in good condition, with aluminum wheels and a loud exhaust.  The vehicle may also have a spray-in style bed liner.  Anyone with information is urged to contact the Belgrade Police Department at 406-388-4262.

Det. Sgt. Dustin Lensing

Belgrade Police Department

406.388.4262

 

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Sheriff/Coroner Identifies Fatality from Big Sky

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( Gallatin County, Mont.) On April 14th, 2015, 28 year old Kerri McKinney of Big Sky, Montana was struck by a motor vehicle. Blunt force injuries suffered during the incident led to her death.  This incident is currently under investigation by the Gallatin County Sheriffs Office and Montana Highway Patrol.

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