ID: Hunter missing for 3 weeks in Idaho Wilderness
Friends join in Idaho search for missing man
Published Oct. 9, 2008
By Kim Ring
TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
The search for Ronald Gray of North Brookfield, a retired state
police captain who hasn’t been heard from since he separated from
hunting companions in Idaho Sept. 19, continued yesterday.
The search included two of Mr. Gray’s friends, retired Massachusetts
state Troopers Robert Benoit and Arthur Cournoyer, Idaho County Chief
Deputy Sheriff John J. Nida said. The men were paired up with guides and
went into the forest for several hours.
Still the searchers, who will be back in the Nez Perce National
Forest today, have not located Mr. Gray and will meet tomorrow to decide
future plans for the search.
Yesterday’s efforts included two helicopters, six posse members and
two trained scent and cadaver dogs from Clearwater County, Idaho. The
searchers combed points of interest and had recently located a campsite
at Wolf Point, though it was unclear who had used the site, which
appeared to be about two weeks old.
Searchers are growing concerned because most searches in the area end
successfully after just a few days.
“This is the longest search I have seen since I’ve been here,” Chief
Deputy Nida said, adding that he has been with the department for 27
A meeting tomorrow will allow officials to review funding for the
search and to consider how the effort will continue during general
hunting season. Searchers are often needed to find missing hunters
during general hunting season and that could impact the efforts to find
About an inch of snow has fallen in the search area but is not
sticking to the ground, Chief Deputy Nida said. About 14 people from
Massachusetts have arrived in Idaho and are offering encouragement to
searchers, telling them of Mr. Gray’s extensive outdoors training and
their belief in his ability to survive in the wilderness.
“We are doing all we can to find him,” Chief Deputy Nida said, adding
that the lack of clues, “cuts down on any direction for us to go.”
Chief Deputy Nida said there have been erroneous reports that Mr.
Gray’s family is being billed for the search. He said it is unlikely the
family would be asked for money to pay for the effort though donations
are being sought and can be sent to the Idaho County Sheriff’s Posse,
320 West Main St., Grangeville, ID 83530. The checks should specify that
the funds are for the posse and the search for Mr. Gray. So far, he
said, Mr. Gray’s family has made a voluntary donation but no other funds
had been received as of last night.