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Latrobe woman texts searchers in Linn Run State Park to tell them she's OK

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Friday, April 18, 2014, 5:36 p.m.

A 12-hour search for a 34-year-old Latrobe woman in Linn Run State Park was called off shortly before 9 p.m. Friday after she texted emergency responders to say she was fine.

Westmoreland County Public Safety spokesman Dan Stevens said the woman, whose identity was not released, told officials she fled to the woods after receiving a speeding ticket earlier in the day and feared she would be targeted for arrest.

The woman is not expected to face any criminal charges related to the search, Stevens said.

Nearly 60 emergency responders, including the bloodhound unit from Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department and a state police helicopter, searched the 612-acre park in Cook and Ligonier townships most of the day and early evening.

“She was watching everything. It was sure a waste of manpower,” Stevens said. “A lot of resources were used for someone who didn't want to be found.”

The woman was expected to retrace her steps out of the park and return home once most of the rescue crews had departed the scene, according to Stevens.

Officials were alerted by family members about 9 a.m. that the woman had gone missing.

Cory Wentzel, assistant park manager, said the woman told family members that she was going to a spring in the park to obtain water early Friday morning.

But she later failed to show up for work at an undisclosed location.

A state police helicopter was brought in about 2 p.m. to assist.

Officials reported receiving a “ping” off her cellular telephone but were unable to receive additional information after the initial contact.

Authorities believe she may have turned the device off at that time.

Rangers later passed out fliers to park visitors seeking information, Wentzel said.

Staff writer Rich Cholodofsky contributedto this story. Nicole Chynoweth isa staff writer for Trib Total Media.




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