OLD TOWN, Maine — The parents of a 24-year-old man who went missing last month and whose body was pulled from the Penobscot River have donated their son’s ATV to the group that led the search effort for him.
“I don’t really have any money, so this was the best I could do,” said Greg Dimmock, father to Jeremy Dimmock, who officials say committed suicide sometime after leaving for a smoke break on July 18.
A few days after his disappearance, volunteers, relatives and friends of Dimmock launched the search, which ended July 24 when searchers found his body in the river.
Several members of the search team attended Dimmock’s wake on July 27, including Richard Bowie, director of Down East Emergency Medicine Institute, a nonprofit search-and-rescue group based in Orono.
“That shows pure caring,” Greg Dimmock said. “These people were out until 1 or 2 in the morning looking for my kid and came back at 10 the next morning.”
To show his gratitude after the wake, Greg Dimmock handed Bowie the keys to his son’s 2004 Honda FourTrax Rancher — with just 120 miles on the odometer.
The searchers were shocked, Bowie said.
“In the midst of their grief, they thought of others,” he said. “It’s something that caused us all to pause, because it’s one of the largest donations we’ve ever received.”
“They hope this can stop somebody else’s family from going through all this,” Bowie said.
“Somebody looking for my kid to that extreme — it’s heartwarming,” Greg Dimmock said.
Julie Jones of Brewer, a volunteer with VK9 Scent Specific Search and Recovery, and her 5-year-old yellow lab, Quincy, also volunteered to help in the search.
Jones said she was struck by the family’s generosity and caring during the search “at a time when they should have only been thinking about themselves.”
After Jeremy Dimmock’s body was pulled from the river, searchers stood by and waited for officials to release the identity. The family ordered pizzas for the search party.
They “wanted to make sure [searchers] had something to eat,” Jones said. “I cried, I couldn’t believe it. Being around those people changed my life.”
Jones said that the family’s actions during a traumatic time showed her that she should strive to be a better person, even at the best of times.
The Penobscot Valley 4-Wheel Drive club volunteered four members and their off-road vehicles for the search.
Greg Dimmock’s employer, Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town, and some of his family members have made donations to DEEMI.
Area businesses that donated supplies toward the search effort included Labree’s Bakery, Hannaford Bros., Old Town-Orono IGA, ACME pizza, Burby and Bates, Murray’s Campus Service Center, Tim Hortons, Dunkin’ Donuts and the Orono Fire Department, according to DEEMI.
“Good people can’t keep doing this if they don’t have the generosity of people to rely on,” Greg Dimmock said.
Dimmock said the ATV was a “little thing” that he hoped would make a difference for others.
“The outcome for Jeremy couldn’t have been different,” Greg Dimmock said. “I just hope [DEEMI] can pound the hell out of that four-wheeler and find someone alive in the future.”