Woman missing in Hampden identified as well-known naturalist

Warden Michelle Merrifield and her K-9, Duchess, search the trails Thursday morning, August 4, 2011, on the grounds of Avalon Village, located on the bank of the Penobscot River in Hampden. They were searching for an elderly  Hampden woman who was reported missing Wednesday night by relatives.  Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Warden Sgt. Ralph Hosford said in addition to two K-9s and their handlers, they were conducting a normal search, with wardens using mapping and GPS to cover the surrounding area. Searchers from the Department of Marine Resources were expected on the river in the afternoon. Hosford said if the rainstorms ended, they hoped to have an aircraft join the search.
Scott Haskell
Warden Michelle Merrifield and her K-9, Duchess, search the trails Thursday morning, August 4, 2011, on the grounds of Avalon Village, located on the bank of the Penobscot River in Hampden. They were searching for an elderly Hampden woman who was reported missing Wednesday night by relatives. Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Warden Sgt. Ralph Hosford said in addition to two K-9s and their handlers, they were conducting a normal search, with wardens using mapping and GPS to cover the surrounding area. Searchers from the Department of Marine Resources were expected on the river in the afternoon. Hosford said if the rainstorms ended, they hoped to have an aircraft join the search.
Posted Aug. 04, 2011, at 11:34 a.m.
Last modified Aug. 05, 2011, at 5:23 a.m.
Judy Kellogg Markowsky
Judy Kellogg Markowsky

HAMPDEN, Maine — The search for a woman missing from the Avalon Village retirement community off Main Road continued Thursday as boats and search dogs were called in to assist.

Searchers are looking for Judy Kellogg Markowsky, 65, who suffers from dementia, Edie Smith, director of information for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said Thursday afternoon.

“They are still out in the field searching,” she said of the game wardens, some with search dogs, Hampden police officers and others who are scouring the shoreline and river for Markowsky.

Despite a daylong push to locate her, Markowsky remained missing and the search was suspended at nightfall, Smith said in an update late Thursday night.

The search will resume Friday morning, Smith said. Searchers using tracking dogs will concentrate on the shoreline of the Penobscot River, while boats and an aircraft will focus on the river, she said.

The Department of Marine Resources brought in a boat and an airplane Thursday to search the Penobscot River, Smith said, but the inclement weather was hampering efforts from the air.

“They are doing both a woods search … and they’re looking in the river as well,” Smith said.

The Hampden Police Department and the Maine State Police launched the search at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday after relatives of Markowsky, who is a weekly birding columnist for the Bangor Daily News, reported her missing. Avalon Village employees assisted by checking the nearby walking trails, Hampden police Officer William Miller said Wednesday.

Markowsky served as director of the Maine Audubon Society’s Fields Pond Nature Center in Holden for 14 years between 1997 and 2009.

Earlier this year, Maine Audubon honored Markowsky, who was the first Maine Audubon staff member in the Bangor area and was instrumental in the construction of the Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden, the group’s website states.

Avalon Village sits between the Edythe L. Dyer Community Library and Main Road and is very near the Penobscot.

Hampden Police Chief Joe Rogers and his officers began searching the area again early Thursday and were joined by two game warden search dogs and their handlers, as well as Maine Warden Service Sgt. Ralph Hosford.

Markowsky’s family members last heard from her about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday by email, Miller said, adding that when the relatives visited her home on Wednesday evening she was nowhere to be found. She left a note behind and her car was in her driveway, Miller said.

BDN writer Dawn Gagnon contributed to this report.

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