CHINA — Crews expect to resume their search today for a missing China man who was last seen leaving a gas station not far from his home Friday evening.

Richard Jackson, 18, a junior at Erskine Academy, left Pinkham Fuel in China for his home a short distance away sometime between 8 and 9 p.m. Friday. He was reported missing at 6 a.m. Saturday.

“I’m deeply concerned. It’s tough on his family. It’s tough on the searchers,” said Maine Warden Service Lt. Kevin Adam.

Adam said that the search will resume again Monday morning after the agency suspended Sunday’s daylong search at dark. He said that more than 50 volunteers showed up to help with the search, and that eight area snowmobile clubs were checking their own trails as well. 

In addition to search crews heading out on snowmobiles and foot, Adam said that he was very thankful to see a lot of volunteers who arrived with food and drinks for the rescue crews.

Authorities are concentrating their search around the China Lake area, but are not allowing volunteers out on the ice due to safety concerns, including a large open body of water in the west basin. He said that the lake is very dangerous to navigate unless snowmobilers know where they are going.

Adam said that the agency is using airboats, planes and helicopters to look for Jackson. One airboat crew from Brewer assisted in the search Sunday.

Another factor hindering the search for Jackson came from Saturday’s storm covering Friday night’s tracks, while Sunday’s warmer temperatures melted ice on the lake, making the ice slushy.

“Mother Nature has not cooperated with this search at all,” Adam said. “It’s just been a constant battle with Mother Nature on this search unfortunately.”

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