Roadside checkpoints will be set up in Ray Brook and Keene today as part of an ongoing search for a missing Massachusetts hiker.
Scott Haworth, 46, of Chicopee, Mass., hasn't been seen for nine days. He's been the subject of an intense search by police and forest rangers in the Round Pond area of the Dix Mountain Wilderness in the town of Keene. That's where Haworth said he was going when he signed in at a trail register along state Route 73 on Aug. 30.
He was later identified at the Valley Grocery in Keene Valley on Sept. 3 and 5.
(Photo — Jamie Ostrowski)
(Photo from Chicopee, Mass., police)
"The clerk recognized him from a picture (on a missing person's flyer) and remembered the name," state police Troop B Public Information Officer Jennifer Fleishman said Friday.
Haworth reportedly tried to cash a personal check at the store on Sept. 3, then returned there on Sept. 5 and bought unspecified merchandise using a check. That's his last confirmed sighting.
It was Aug. 25 when Haworth was last seen in Massachusetts, where he works at bulk mail center in Springfield, according to Chicopee police. He has been absent from work since then.
Chicopee police Detective James Tisdell told the Enterprise Friday that his department hasn't developed any new leads as to Haworth's whereabouts since they learned he had been in the Adirondacks. He said Haworth's family is "extremely concerned."
So are his friends. Steve Ostrowski said Haworth was the drummer in his classic rock band, named Rock 201, for 10 years before he quit to take a second job. The band has posted information about Haworth's disappearance on its Facebook page.
"I think it's just bizarre how he is missing without a trace," Ostrowski told the Enterprise in a Facebook message, "but he doesn't have a cellphone and always keeps to himself."
Scott Haworth is 6 feet tall and 160 to 165 pounds in weight. He has blue eyes, brown hair and a beard. Anyone who has seen him is asked to call the state police's Ray Brook office at 518-897-2000.
Police in Ray Brook said they didn't receive notice that Massachusetts police were looking for Haworth in the Adirondacks until Tuesday, Sept. 10. Haworth's car, a red 2002 Ford Escort, was found in the Round Pond trailhead parking area that same day.
Fleishman said state police have since interviewed one of Haworth's family members.
"He was described as a nice, quiet guy," Fleishman said. "He has no history of drug or alcohol abuse. There's no history of any type of this behavior before. He would go hiking, typically alone, but he wouldn't just disappear. He would keep in contact."
Haworth isn't married, doesn't have any children and doesn't have any credit cards, Fleishman said. He may have had a bank card but not one that's been used recently, she said.
On Thursday, state forest rangers and police, including Special Operations Response Team and canine team members, searched the Round Pond area and other parts of the Dix Mountain Wilderness. They returned there Friday and will be back at it again today, Fleishman said.
State police Capt. Robert LaFountain said the Round Pond area "is a very rugged and densely forested track of land, which makes the search exceptionally difficult."
A state police helicopter has been involved, but it couldn't be used Friday due to inclement weather.
So far, the search hasn't turned up any sign of the missing man.
"There's been nothing found that they believe was left by him or discarded by him, other than his vehicle," Fleishman said. "The rangers have been checking every trailhead to see if he's registered anywhere else, and so far he hasn't signed in anywhere else."
"We are not ruling out any possibility (including that Haworth could be somewhere else), but we are focusing our efforts in that immediate area," LaFountain said.
He added that police have no indication of foul play.
Fleishman initially told the Enterprise this morning that Haworth had left all his overnight camping equipment behind at his apartment in Massachusetts, which his family reportedly found when they went there to look for him. However, Fleishman contacted the Enterprise late Friday to say Haworth may have had other gear with him that his family is unaware of.
"So he very well may have packed for the trip and the weather," Fleishman said in an email.
Chicopee Detective Robert Kalisz, who said he has been in Haworth's apartment during the search, told the Enterprise it's unclear what camping gear Haworth may have taken with him.
"We just don't know what he owned and what he took," Kalisz said Friday. "I don't even think his family knows what he owned."
State police will conduct informational road checks and hand out missing person's flyers today in two locations: state Route 86 in Ray Brook and Route 73 in Keene.
Managing Editor Peter Crowley contributed to this report.
Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or email@example.com.