Search for Barre man will resume in morning

Photos by Tom Rivers: State conservation officers, forest rangers and many volunteer firefighters gather in the Barre fire hall after searching for several hours today for a missing Barre man. The search will resume at 8 a.m. on Sunday.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 December 2018 at 5:33 pm

About 150 people have been trying to find Robert Arnett

Robert M. Arnett

BARRE – About 150 people spent many hours today in an unsuccessful search to find Robert M. Arnett, a Barre man with dementia who was last seen at 7 p.m. on Friday.

There were 132 volunteer firefighters who were part of the search today, a dozen DEC conservation officers, seven Orleans County deputies, two state troopers and several state forest rangers. There also were drones used by the State Police, DEC and Niagara County Sheriff’s Office.

The search will continue on Sunday morning at 8.

“We’ve done an exhaustive search in the immediate area,” said James Neal, chief of the Barre Volunteer Fire Company. “We’ll get some sleep and start over tomorrow.”

Arnett was first reported missing at 10 p.m. on Friday. At that point he had been gone for about three hours from his home on Quaker Hill Road (Route 98).

A Niagara County K9 may have detected Arnett’s scent near the Barre fire hall and Barre Presbyterian Church on Route 98, about ¾ mile north of Arnett’s residence. The dog followed the scent on Friday night to the firehall and church and then it seemed to vanish, Neal said.

Arnett suffers from Alzheimer’s and requires medication. He has gone missing before, Neal said, but was having a good day on Friday. He went outside to look for the family’s cat. The cat came in but Arnett did not.

Arnett’s family doesn’t think he would have got in a car with someone because he is leery of strangers and other people, Neal said.

Clarendon firefighters put an off-road vehicle back in a trailer after they were out trying to locate a Barre man who has dementia.

The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office put out a missing person alert this morning for Arnett. He may be wearing a navy T-shirt, light jean jacket, blue jeans and black shoes. He is approximately 5’ 11’’ and 200 pounds with gray hair, gray facial hair and brown eyes.

About 30 first responders looked for Arnett last night from about 10 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. That number grew five-fold this morning and afternoon.

State forest rangers will assist the Barre Volunteer Fire Department and Orleans County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday. The fire department already has created a grid, showing where people have looked.

Dale Banker, the county’s emergency management director, said he appreciates that so many volunteer firefighters were out trying to find Arnett today.

“I am totally impressed that we have 132 people here, especially these days when fire departments have a shortage of manpower,” Banker said.

Anyone who has seen or had contact with Arnett is urged to call the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office at (585) 589-5527.

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