CLINTON — State and local rescue personnel searched the Sebasticook River on Tuesday for a 36-year-old man who disappeared after being seen entering the water a day earlier.

Justin Howard was seen getting into the water at about 4 p.m. Monday, according to Clinton Police Chief Stanley “Rusty” Bell. Howard most recently was residing in the Waterville-Winslow area and had been visiting with friends on Pleasant Street in Clinton.

Witnesses saw Howard run down Pleasant Street and onto Water Street before entering the water, Bell said Tuesday. Howard was last seen wearing a gray/blue sweatshirt, khaki pants and blue sneakers.

Bell said the response was focused on locating Howard, and authorities were still working to understand why he went into the water. There is no indication of foul play, he said.

The Maine Warden Service began searching the area Monday night but had to stop once it became dark, said Mark Latti, communications director for Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, which includes the warden service.

Searchers used boats and a helicopter Tuesday to look downstream from where Howard was last scene, Latti said, and two game wardens with dogs searched along the shore.



Although there were clear skies Monday and Tuesday, the low temperature dipped below freezing both days. The water current was moving swiftly Tuesday and the water level was relatively high near the Pleasant Street bridge over the Sebasticook, submerging the base of several trees on the banks.

The water level and current meant that wardens were unable to use divers to further search the river, Latti said.

Also at the scene were Maine State Police and the Clinton Fire Department.

Bell asked anyone with information about Howard to contact the Clinton Police Department, 207-426-9192.

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