Canine unit called in to search for man

Published 9:18 am Tuesday, March 20, 2012

SCOTTOWN — A team of bloodhounds has been called in to assist the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office in the search for a Scottown man missing for nearly a week.

Last Thursday, the family of Charles Shoemaker, 61, of 371 State Route 281, contacted the sheriff’s office that he had been missing since March 13.

“(We were) advised that Mr. Shoemaker had left the residence on Tuesday about 9 a.m. on foot and was last seen in the back of the residence walking up a hill,” Sheriff Jeff Lawless said.

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Sheriff’s deputies and volunteers from the Rome and Windsor fire departments searched the area Thursday and Friday on foot and with 4-wheelers around Shoemaker’s home.

On Monday Lawless brought in six bloodhounds from the Central Ohio Canine Rescue Team out of Columbus to intensify the search.

“He has been missing so long and has not been located certainly we want to make sure he is not injured in the woods or worse,” Lawless said. “We want to have exhausted all the areas around the home.”

This is at least the seventh time the man has been reported missing. The last two times he was found in Huntington, W.Va.

“He has been known to wander far distances into cities, into Huntington,” the sheriff said. “Once we are satisfied he is not around his home, we will have to rely on other agencies to locate him.”

Lawless has also called in a search helicopter from the Butler County Sheriff’s Office to join the rescue effort.

“The family is certainly concerned and wants to be sure the area is searched,” the sheriff said.

Shoemaker is 5-foot-6 weighing 120 pounds with grey hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a red jacket and brown rubber boots.

Anyone with any information about Shoemaker should contact the sheriff’s office at (740) 532-3525.