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Times Record
Posted
Updated November 12, 2019
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Police find a body near Kristin Westra’s home in North Yarmouth

Crime scene tape went up in front of a house on Gray Road in North Yarmouth, also known as Route 231, but officials would not say whether it was related to the search. (Eric Russell/Portland Press Herald)

UPDATE: A spokesman for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office says a body has been found in North Yarmouth. This story will be updated.

NORTH YARMOUTH – Police on Friday morning put up crime scene tape at a house half a mile from the home where missing teacher Kristen Westra lived.

State police and Maine Game Warden K-9 teams resumed their search Friday for Kristin Westra, a 47-year-old North Yarmouth resident disappeared from her house Sunday night.

Crime scene tape went up in front of a house on Gray Road in North Yarmouth, also known as Route 231, but officials would not say whether it was related to the search.

There was no new information, and law enforcement officials at the search scene said it remained an “active investigation.” Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service said Friday’s search will likely involve a police aircraft and K9 teams that will focus on areas related to tips of possible sightings. More than 100 leads have been reported to police, he said.

The search appeared to be focused on an area near her home on Lufkin Road, but further down that road, which dead ends shortly after it crosses power lines.

No one answered the door at the Westra home and there were no vehicles in the driveway.

Westra was reported missing Monday morning by her husband, who has said his wife was experiencing anxiety and had a “safety assessment” on Sunday before she disappeared from their home.

“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 this week in an interview with NBC News.

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 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 cellphone were at the house.

MacDonald said Jay Westra remains cooperative with investigators.

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

An intensive search began later Monday, focusing on the wooded area around her home. Authorities found no clues to Westra’s whereabouts during searches Tuesday and Wednesday of the wooded area within a roughly 1.5-mile radius of her home that “eliminated with high probability” she was in the vicinity of the house that she shared with her husband, daughter and stepson, Game Warden Cpl. John MacDonald said.

On Thursday, game wardens and detectives followed up on what authorities initially believed was credible information they received Wednesday evening of a possible sighting of Westra. But by Thursday night, Capt. Scott Stewart of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said the information was invetigated and was no longer being considered.

Kristin Westra’s brother, Eric Rohrbach, 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.

Jay Westra said Kristin was not on any medication, and said he would have supported her if she said she needed some time away. After the visit with the medical professional Sunday, Kristin had planned to have blood work done Monday. She also had a plan to return to her usual running and yoga – activities that had been disrupted by the start of school 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,” Jay Westra 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.”

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