The Richmond Register

Crime

July 23, 2013

Volunteers from across the state join search for Brookelyn Farthing

MADISON COUNTY — Beginning early Tuesday morning, almost 200 volunteers from 13 organizations continued the search for Berea teen Brookelyn Farthing, 18, in the Big Hill area where she was reported missing four weeks ago.

All along KY 21 and out to Owsley Fork reservoir, search teams in orange vests, on four-wheelers, in boats and even on horses, could be seen trudging through the countryside overgrown from recent heavy rains.

This is still a missing person case, said Trooper Paul Blanton, Kentucky State Police spokesperson for Richmond Post 7.

“We have not received any information that leads us to believe something bad has happened to Brookelyn, but we've not had any information in the other direction either," Blanton said.

Organizers gathered at a temporary command post at Indian Fort Theater, just a short distance from Dillon Court, where Farthing was reportedly seen just hours before a  “suspicious fire” was extinguished in the home by local firefighters.

The following week, local law enforcement and emergency agencies scoured 500 acres on Floyd Branch Road off Red Lick Road as well as areas directly behind the home on Dillon Court.

Tuesday’s effort was an attempt to continue where they left off, Blanton said. Teams will work until a 1.5-mile radius from the intersection of KY 21 and US 421 is covered or until they run out of daylight. The area includes some bodies of water as well.

“We’ve not received any specific information for this search,” he said. “This is really an expanded search area from what we’ve already searched.”

Blanton said all of the tips received so far, mostly from the Big Hill area, have been personally investigated by a detective or a trooper.

Police released a statement July 2 asking that local property owners pay particular attention to freshly turned earth, unusual smells, ditch lines and remote areas. Although nothing has turned up so far, they ask that people keep looking, he said.

A television reporter at the command post Tuesday asked why so much attention has been focused on the Farthing case.

“You guys don’t, as far as I know, tend to do this much searching for most of the people who go missing,” the reporter said.

Blanton said he had never been involved in a missing person investigation that has gone on so long.

“Usually the person or the body is located within a relatively short time,” he said. “I know she (Brookelyn) was a very social person…. She grew up here in Madison County — there’s a lot of interest for her to come home safe.”

The fire that occurred at the Dillon Court home June 22 is still under investigation. It could take a while to find an accelerant in the fire residue, Blanton said.

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