Snowmobiler missing since Sunday found safe at Seven Springs
Frantic Facebook posts asking for prayers for a lost snowmobile rider turned to praise and gratitude Wednesday afternoon when the Somerset County man was located alive on private property near Seven Springs Mountain Resort.
Bruce Maust, 50, of Jenners-town, had been missing for nearly three days after leaving his Somerset County home on Sunday on a snowmobile. He was found standing against a tree Wednesday morning, police said.
“He is doing good; his vitals are good,” his sister, Nicole Maust, said from Somerset Hospital, where he was being treated on Wednesday. “It's nice to be from a small town. I can't tell you how many friends came out (to support us).”
“He may have suffered from a medical condition that caused him to be disoriented,” said state police spokesman Trooper John Matchik.
Matchik said he is grateful that searchers were able to locate Maust before the weather turned cold and snowy.
“Thankfully, things worked out, and we were able to look for him before the impending weather moves in,” he said. “We're fortunate it had a happy ending for him.”
It's not clear how long Maust had been in the wooded area, police said. A hospital spokesman declined to release his condition.
State police initially believed Maust may have been in the Laurel Mountains west of Jennerstown.
During their investigation, police determined Maust's debit card had been used at an ATM at the resort Sunday afternoon. Surveillance video was used to confirm Maust had used the card, Matchik said.
State police, along with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Seven Springs resort security, an aerial crew and numerous volunteer fire departments began searching the area near the property for Maust on Tuesday. The search was put on hold that night and resumed Wednesday morning.
A ground search team found a snowmobile matching Maust's in a pond on a private part of the resort. Searchers concentrated on that area when they discovered fresh tracks and found Maust, Matchik said.
“He was standing up against a tree,” Matchik said. “He was wet and disoriented.”
The snowmobile probably ended up in the pond because Maust was not familiar with the area, Matchik said. He crawled out of the pond and took refuge in the woods.
Maust likely used snow runoff to stay hydrated but had no food, Matchik said.
Maust was able to walk with the searchers to a nearby cabin, where paramedics treated him before taking him to Somerset Hospital.
Seven Springs security worked with police to navigate the resort's 5,500 acres.
“We worked with police to assist in whatever way possible,” resort spokeswoman Anna Weltz said. “He looked healthy. We're thankful he is OK.”
Early this week, family, friends and a Jennerstown prayer group began posting messages on Facebook that Maust was missing. The messages turned to appreciation for rescue teams when Maust was found.
“So relieved that my friend Bruce Maust was found by search and rescue after three days in the PA woods,” one man wrote.
Another said, “Thank you everyone for all prayers and thoughts for Bruce Maust. Bruce was found walking just a while ago, not sure of any details as yet. Thanks be to God.”
Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Somerset racetrack investor faces bad-check charges
- ATV victim’s family seeks deal in fatal crash in Somerset County