Distraught Hermon High student found safe

Posted April 26, 2011, at 9:27 p.m.

HERMON, Maine — A teenager who left Hermon High School early Tuesday afternoon because he was upset that he was being suspended was found safe after a brief search that involved county and state police, a state game warden and a couple of tracking dogs.

One of the dogs located the missing juvenile shortly after 2 p.m. in an old cornfield off nearby Billings Road, not far from the local elementary school, according to Sgt. William Burgess of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department.

The search lasted less than an hour, he said.

“The dog just kind of nudged him toward a game warden,” Burgess said.

Burgess said four members of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department, a state trooper and a game warden went to search for the boy because they were nearby at the time and because initial reports suggested that the student might have been in possession of a knife and that he might have intentions of harming himself, Burgess said.

No knife was found and the student later told law enforcement officials he had left the school grounds because he wanted some time to “cool off,” Burgess said.

He said that the student’s parents and juvenile probation officer were working to assist him and that no charges are anticipated in connection with Tuesday’s incident.

“All’s well that ends well,” Principal Brian Walsh said after the teenager was located. He said that the school’s protocol for incidents such as this one was followed. Besides calling police, administrators locked side and back doors and monitored the main entrance at the front of the high school.

“Ultimately, our concern is for the safety of the students,” Walsh said, adding that he and other school officials were relieved that the student was found safe.

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