PARKERSBURG, WV (WOWK)–The Parkersburg Police Department put together a large volunteer search group to help locate a missing woman. Investigators put out a post on social media. More than 450 people from West Virginia and surrounding states spent their Saturday searching at Mountwood Park.
Authorities say Gretchen Fleming, 28, of Vienna, West Virginia was allegedly last seen at the My Way Lounge on Dec. 3, 2022. Police announced that she was missing on Dec. 12, 2022.
The morning started with a brief meeting at 2nd Street by the floodwall in Parkersburg, WV.
The parking lot was packed with cars and a large crowd of people gathered to wait for instructions. Seeing the outpouring of support for her granddaughter was moving for Gretchen’s grandmother Louise Fleming.
“I didn’t dream there would be this many people. It is just unreal. God has answered our prayers by giving us help. And you know I have mixed emotions today. I want her found but I’m afraid they’ll find her,” Louise Fleming said, through tears.
From there volunteers drove to Mountwood Park which is close to 20 minutes away from Parkersburg. Volunteers split into groups of 12 to 15 and walked through the woods with each group covering an assigned section of the map. Most of the effort was guided by teams from West Virginia Search and Rescue.
According to Parkersburg Police Chief Matt Board, volunteers covered 2,500 acres Saturday. He thanked the community not just for volunteering but for donating pizzas, snacks, hot drinks and care packets.
Board said when the public portion search wrapped up Saturday evening at Mountwood Park teams hadn’t found anything conclusive. But he said it was an important step to search Mountwood Park and follow up on tips they had received.
Board said some law enforcement teams stayed after the civilian teams left. They wanted to take a closer look at a few areas.
Fleming is described as standing approximately 5’1 and weighing approximately 110 lbs with brown hair and brown eyes.
If you have any information to help with this case, contact Detective Zimmerman by dialing 304-424-1072 and for after-hours, dial 304-424-8444.