[UPDATE: Search for missing Maine teacher broadens, and those who know her are mystified]

The search has resumed for a 47-year-old elementary school teacher from North Yarmouth last seen at her home on Sunday.

Wardens and police were focused Wednesday morning on a construction quarry near Westra’s home. State game wardens with a search dog also emerged from a nearby wood line, but there was no update about how the teams were re-focusing their efforts to find Westra, or whether they had any new clues to go on.

Kristin Westra, a teacher at Chebeague Island School, was last seen at the family’s home on Lufkin Road when she went to bed with her husband, Jay, around 8 p.m. Sunday, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

She was nowhere to be found when her husband woke up Monday morning, although her vehicle, cellphone and keys were still at home, a family member and police said. Maine State Police and the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office are conducting parallel investigations into Westra’s disappearance.

Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service said Wednesday morning that investigators still have no clues to indicate Westra is in the woods near her home. A search on Tuesday “eliminated with high probability” the likelihood that Westra is within the 1.5 miles covered, he said.

Game wardens will begin covering more area today in hopes of finding some clue as to Westra’s location or direction of travel, MacDonald said.

“It remains uncertain how far away or how long searching wooded areas will continue if further clues are not discovered,” MacDonald said in a statement.

On Tuesday, nearly 50 trained search crews, K9s, ATVs and drones were used to cover terrain that included wetlands, thick forest and open fields. Game wardens focused their search on the areas of highest probability around the Westra home, MacDonald said.

Fourteen detectives from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and the state police spent Tuesday chasing down tips, interviewing friends and relatives and probing into Westra’s life and background in hopes of uncovering information that could lead to her whereabouts.

Westra’s brother, Eric Rohrbach, said police have theorized that Westra was not thinking clearly and for some reason felt the need to leave her home. But Westra has no history of mental health diagnoses, her brother said, and had an aversion to taking medications such as sleeping pills that may have altered her mood or ability to think rationally.

This story will be updated.

Jeremy Judd of the Maine Warden Service and his dog Tika search a gravel pit near the Westra home in North Yarmouth on Wednesday. Cpl. John MacDonald, spokesman for the warden service, said the search for Kristin Westra has been expanded beyond the 1.5-mile area around the Westra home but that searchers are also going back through some thickly wooded areas covered in Tuesday’s search. (Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald)

Deputy Ray McIntire of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office emerges from the woods of North Yarmouth with a multi-agency search group on Tuesday. The woods, he said, are “thick with lots of ups and downs. There are ridges. It’s also swampy.” (Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald)

Kristin Westra (Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office via PPH)


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.