BANGOR, Maine — The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office and its law enforcement partners want to hear from anyone who saw a black Ford Ranger or similar-looking pickup truck in the Glenburn area around the time 15-year-old Nichole Cable went missing, Sheriff Glenn Ross said Friday in a news conference.
“This is only a vehicle we have interest in because of information that’s been given to us,” Ross said on the fifth day since the Old Town High School student vanished.
“It may or may not have been seen in the area so we cannot draw any inferences that this is the suspect vehicle,” he said. “It may or may not be. We need to rule it in or rule it out.”
The sheriff asked that anyone who saw a vehicle matching that description in the area between Route 211 in Glenburn to the west Old Town area and Interstate 95 between 8 p.m. Sunday and 2 a.m. Monday call the sheriff’s office at 945-4636 or 800-432-7911.
“We want to stress that we’re not looking for the names of people all over the state of Maine that may or may not own a vehicle such as this. That will overwhelm the investigators,” he said. “We’re only interested in a similar vehicle in that area at that time.”
Friday’s plea to people who might have spotted a black pickup in or around Glenburn was among only a few new developments in the 5-day-old investigation, which began Monday morning when Cable’s parents, Jason and Kristine Wiley of Glenburn, reported her missing.
On their Facebook page, Bring Nichole Cable Home, the Old Town High School student’s parents said they last saw Cable on Sunday night and that they believe their daughter was last known to be with a male using a fictitious name on a Facebook account.
Fliers have been posted by family and friends throughout Penobscot County and well beyond and information about the case has spread around the world over the Internet.
The Wileys attended a Wednesday news conference and pleaded for their daughter’s return but were not present at media briefings on Thursday and Friday. Ross and Chief Deputy Troy Morton have asked the media not to visit the parents’ residence.
“The help from the public and the media have been very important to this missing person’s investigation,” Ross said. “Law enforcement agencies are continuing to follow up on leads that we have developed right from the beginning. Officers have been working tirelessly around the clock to try to bring her home.”
On Friday, Morton said that the sheriff’s office will continue to staff its telephone tip line on a 24-hour basis.
“The search will continue throughout the weekend,” he said. “Our goal is still to bring Nichole home. We ask that you continue to be respectful of her family, as you all have.
“Leads continue to come in. We continue to follow through. We will follow those leads wherever they take us. We have added to our ground and air searches and search areas, some based on leads and some just based on geographics,” he said, adding, “There should be no conclusions drawn into why we’re searching certain areas.
“There is no particular location for gathering evidence. We will gather anything which we feel is a lead,” Morton said. “We can’t speak directly to certain pieces of evidence but as you know, the searches are continuing and things are being collected from different areas.”
During Friday’s news conference, Morton was asked if ground searches by people other than those now involved might hinder the investigation.
“The warden service is using K-9 dogs,” he said. “One of the issues that has come up for us is, as much as we want the public’s support and help — at some point, [the warden service] may decide to reach out to the public and ask for volunteers for ground searches and these types of things — today, with the use of K-9 dogs, we can’t have the public tramping through the woods, which would certainly interfere with what the dogs are doing.”
Morton also said the search continues to be a multi-agency effort.
“As you know, from the very beginning we’ve used every available resource to us. They’ve been here from Day 1. We have continued to work together, using all those different resources and abilities, whether it’s federal, state, county or municipal,” Morton said as Lt. Timothy Reid of the Bangor Police Department, Maine State Police Lt. Roderick Charette and Lt. Kevin Adam of the Maine Warden Service stood nearby in front of the former county courthouse.
Though not represented at Friday’s briefing, the Federal Bureau of Investigation also is involved in the effort to find the Glenburn teenager.
Morton also was asked if the length of time that Cable has been missing had changed the direction of the investigation.
“It doesn’t change our investigation,” he said. “From Day 1, we have [treated this] as a missing person case. We’re going to continue to do that.”
Cable stands 5 feet, 1 inch tall, weighs 90 pounds and has brown hair and blue eyes. She also has her lip, nose and ears pierced.
Anyone with information on the case is urged to contact the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office at 947-4585.