by Sue Deyoe ~ June 8th, 2011
The search for Melanie Gould yesterday turned up no clues and search dogs were unable to pick up any scent in the search.
Search personnel are continuing the effort today. Last night, a Healy-Tri-Valley SAR group was added to the search effort, bumping the number of searchers up to more than 35. The Healy Fire Department confirmed that searchers from the Denali Emergency Rescue Team (DERT) **have gotten involved with the effort. Alaska Wildlife Troopers joined the search with Helo Two, a Cessna 185 and a Super Cub. In addition, the Civil Air Patrol flew a number of hours. As of 5 pm Tuesday, approximately 44 hours of flight time had been logged in the search.
The canine units were only able to pick up scent in the direct vicinity of where the truck was found.
Many dog mushers have confirmed that it is useless to try and use sled dogs for the purpose of searching, since they are not trained in that capacity. The dogs being used are from PAWS, MAT-SAR K9s and ASARD.
Troopers say that each day consists of about twelve to thirteen hours of searching.
One new technique arrived on the scene last night. The department of King Air arrived and flew overland using Forward Looking Infrared.
**DERT is a group of trained search and rescue volunteers living in Healy and near Denali Park. They are a community emergency response team that periodically has fundraisers to provide more training/resources for their volunteers.
The volunteers come under the overall umbrella of ASARA