http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/234435/group/homepage/Family not giving up search for missing Ardoch, N.D., woman
Published April 14, 2012, 07:50 AM
Lenaye Driscoll is not ready to give up.
The great niece of Florence Dumontet is continuing the search for the 82-year-old Ardoch, N.D., woman who disappeared nearly six months ago.
Driscoll, of East Grand Forks, is spearheading a fundraiser today at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church social hall. The benefit runs from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is open to the public and will include food and beverages. Attendees will be asked to make a free will offering, which Driscoll plans to put toward increased efforts to find Dumontet.
Dumontet went missing midway through a trip from her home to Washington State, where she visited friends and family every year.
She was last seen at 9:22 p.m., Oct. 16 at the Town Pump gas station in Butte, Mont., about 15 hours after leaving Grand Forks.
Family members believe she was planning on staying the night in Missoula, Mont., leading authorities to narrow their search to the 118-mile stretch of Interstate 90 between Butte and Missoula.
“It’s just hard to see her disappear like that,” Driscoll said. “Our hopes are to bring her home and have closure.”
Authorities have been stymied by the lack of clues in the case and haven’t had a significant lead in months.
Some of the money from the fundraiser would likely go to continued searches and a renewed public awareness effort in Montana.
Idaho authorities have already done one flyover of Montana. According to Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Dan Hillebrand, the lead investigator in the case, Montana authorities are considering another flyover of the area when the conditions are right.
“We’ve covered all the bases, at this point it’s a point of re-covering them,” he said.
Driscoll would like to see a helicopter flyover of the area, allowing inspection at slower speeds. She would consider using some of the benefit earnings to pay for a private flight if necessary.
An earlier fundraiser attended mostly by people from the Minto, N.D., and Forest River, N.D., areas near Dumontet’s home raised $2,500. Driscoll said her family is thankful to those who have already helped the effort to find Dumontet, who was driving a 2008 black Lincoln Mark LT crew-cab pickup when she disappeared.
Other options Driscoll is mulling include a dog search and soliciting the help of the Montana chapter of the Back Country Horsemen to search the area on the ground.
Driscoll believes it may take closer inspection to solve the mystery that has baffled friends and family for nearly half a year.
“I find it very uneasy for her to disappear off the face of the earth like this,” Driscoll said. “If there’s some closure out there, let’s have it.”