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Volunteers join search for missing Berks County woman

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, @CatherineH_WFMZ, chawley@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 22 2012 05:26:50 PM CDT

Volunteers join search for missing woman

MAIDENCREEK TWP., Pa. -

Nearly 200 volunteers and local fire departments came ready to search Saturday morning in Berks County. For about five hours they combed through the woods in Maidencreek Township.

"We have a report of a missing, possibly endangered female," said Northern Berks Regional Police Sergeant Ronald Mohl.

31 year old Rebecca Mertz hasn't been seen since Monday night. Tuesday morning was the last time family heard from her.

"Her car was found abandoned on the backside of Lake Ontelaunee," said Mohl.

About 140 folks gave up their Saturday hoping to bring Becky home.

"I decided that I was going to come down here this morning and help everybody look for her," explained Juliet Campfield.

"It's good to see community involvement with this kind of thing," added Willard Miller. "There were a lot of people here this morning."

After pinging the Blandon woman's cell phone it led police out into the forest. Over the last four days investigators have used canines and helicopters to hunt for Becky. Now they're searching the water, and they've expanded the land search.

"Searching a 2 mile by a quarter mile rectangular block of the woods," said Mohl.

But it's been a difficult mission, getting through the dense trees and brush takes a lot of time and effort.

"The area is very heavily wooded," described Mohl. "Has large undergrowth, it's very thick, it's pretty much hard for a rabbit to get through."

"The worst part of the whole thing is just whacking your way through the undergrowth, it is terrible in there," said Miller.

Everybody is praying for Becky's safe return.

"I can't even imagine what her poor family are going through so hopefully we will be able to find her," shared Campfield.

Officials say nothing new was found during the search. Investigators plan to be out again Sunday.