HAVERHILL, Mass. — Authorities say a metal thief who came into contact with a 23,000-volt current while trying to steal copper from a remote electrical substation in Haverhill should probably be dead, or at least severely injured.

But although police found evidence of a break-in and an explosion, including a melted and sooty hacksaw, they haven’t found a body.

Police, using dogs and a helicopter, searched the woods and the nearby Merrimack River for the person who caused a localized power outage on Wednesday while apparently trying to steal $100 worth of copper wiring, but came up empty.

A check of local hospitals failed to turn up any burns victims.

Police plan to resume the search Thursday.