Game Warden Jeremy Judd prepares to go out into the woods with a K-9 to search for Kristin Westra of North Yarmouth who has been missing Thursday, October 4, 2018. (Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald)

A North Yarmouth elementary teacher who disappeared from her home overnight Sunday had sought emergency medical help and had a “safety assessment” earlier that day after experiencing anxiety, her husband said.

“Sunday morning, Kristin was experiencing what I would call some anxiety and she expressed that she had some sleepless nights and was worried,” Jay Westra said in an interview with NBC News, his first comments to the media.

Westra, a pediatric oncology nurse, said he called a friend who was a “licensed clinical nurse practitioner” who arranged to see his wife that afternoon. He said Kristin Westra met with the medical professional while he and his daughter waited outside, and had the safety assessment that determined she was not at risk to harm herself or others. After they returned home, she went for a run, he went to the grocery store, then they all had dinner together before going to bed, he said.

Kristin Westra, a 47-year-old teacher at Chebeague Island School, was last seen at the family’s home on Lufkin Road when she went to bed with her husband around 8 p.m. Sunday, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said. She could not be found when her family woke up Monday morning, although her vehicle, keys and cell phone were at the house.

An intensive search began later Monday, focusing on the wooded area around her home.

On Thursday morning, Game Wardens and detectives followed up on new, credible information received Wednesday evening of a possible sighting of Westra.

“Although we’ve remained positive throughout the entire investigation, we’re extremely positive this morning based on this new information we received last evening,” said Cumberland County Sheriff Cpt. Scott Stewart. “I don’t want to get into specifics, but it is credible information and we have resources geared in that direction.”

It wasn’t clear where or when she may have been seen.

Stewart and Game Warden Cpl. John MacDonald said receiving the information was a surprise, and that they’re hopeful to make progress Thursday toward locating Westra.

Teams of search dogs are also returning to an area behind the Westra home, where MacDonald said brush and trees are so dense in some areas that objects only a few feet away are difficult to spot.

There has been no suggestion so far that Westra got into a vehicle, and all information so far points to her traveling on foot.

Although there is also no indication so far of foul play, Stewart said detectives are exploring every possibility in their search for Westra.

“We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t always keep that on the table,” Stewart said. “We rule out the good and we rule out the bad.”

Authorities found no clues to Westra’s whereabouts during searches Tuesday and Wednesday of the wooded area within a 1.5-mile radius of her home that “eliminated with high probability” she was in the vicinity of the house on Lufkin Road that she shared with her husband, daughter and stepson, MacDonald said.

Meanwhile, Jay Westra spoke at length for the first time about the ordeal on Wednesday. Standing in his front yard, Westra gave NBC News a detailed description of the family’s activities Sunday and early Monday.

After the visit with the medical professional on Sunday, Kristin had a plan to get blood work done on Monday. She also had a plan to return to her usual running and yoga – activities that had been disrupted because of school starting and an ongoing renovation project at their home – and to make slight changes to her diet and her sleep patterns.

“She told me she felt better. We had a plan,” he said. “Kristin is a person who when she has a plan, she sticks to the plan and she follows through and she does things well, every time.”

After they went to bed Sunday, Jay Westra said he noticed Kristin was restless, and he awoke at 3:30 a.m. and she was not in their bed. He said he thought she had gone to another room to sleep or downstairs to avoid waking him.

He said he didn’t realize she wasn’t in the house until the next morning. He described arranging for a friend to take their 10-year-old daughter to school while he went looking for Kristin, first on foot and then in his car. He said a back door was open a few inches, and he speculated she may have left the house that way. The door has a faulty latch making it hard to close, he said.

When asked about Kristin’s “state of mind” on Sunday, Jay Westra described his wife’s resilience.

“Kristin is a rock. She sees a problem and she’s not afraid of problems. She knows how to solve problems,” he said.

He also acknowledged that in these situations, the missing person’s spouse is often seen as a suspect, something he said was “logical.” He said they had the usual small problems any couple face, but he wasn’t concerned with what people were thinking or saying.

“My feelings are secondary. The primary thing is the return of Kristin to me and her family,” he said. “Everything else is secondary. I don’t care what people think. I don’t care what people gossip. That’s a non-issue, a non-thought for me.”

He also dismissed the idea that she may have been taken by force.

“She is a strong, powerful person, and I would have heard something,” Jay Westra said. “I can’t imagine a scenario where a person would be able to take her from the house without noise and without a fight.”

Jay Westra told the Portland Press Herald on Thursday he would not be making any further comments right now.

Kristin Westra’s brother, Eric Rohrback, has described his sister as an early riser and as someone who is active and fit, and that leaving the home without telling anyone or having a way to communicate is deeply out of character for her.

Rohrbach, of New Gloucester, said his sister was under an unusual amount of stress.

The Chebeague Island School where Westra teaches is being remodeled, making it difficult for her to be as effective in her job, Rohrbach said. And she faced similar stresses at home, he said, where the Westra family home was also undergoing major renovations to the entire first floor.

Jay Westra said Kristin was not on any medication, and said he would have supported her if she said she needed some time away.

And if she was listening, Jay had a message for her:

“Kristin, no matter what, come home. We’ve always taken care of everything, we’ve solved every problem, we’re a team. We will be a team,” he said, adding that “everybody” wants her back. “There’s nothing, there’s no problem, no embarrassment, no obstacle that can’t be overcome when you come back.”

Noel K. Gallagher can be reached at 791-6387 or at:

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Twitter: noelinmaine

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