SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Hundreds of people headed out into the woods Friday looking for clues to find Sister Angela Miller.
The volunteers came for different reasons but all had one main goal.
Searchers were determined to help find Sister Angela who has now been missing for nearly two weeks.
More than 300 people turned out for the volunteer effort.
They went into several heavily wooded areas but came up empty handed.
It was a true community effort.
Family and friends of Sister Angela Miller joined her fellow sisters from the Immaculate Heart of Mary and even complete strangers for the search.
“I think we all understand that Sister Angela is already home and where she needs to be so the opportunity to get everybody here together today to find that piece that will bring closure to the IMH sisters is a gift,” Teddy Michel of Archbald said.
After breaking up into groups and boarding buses, searchers fanned out across West Scranton, West Mountain and Keyser Valley areas.
Some people searched places like the former West Mountain Sanitarium.
“There was a lot of ground to cover, lots of buildings down, lots of small crevices to look for,” Joey Reed, a student at the Lackawanna County Career Technology Center said.
Other searchers went to the woods behind Issac Tripp Elementary School.
“It was very hilly, a lot of shale, there were some areas you had to navigate down to get down in the gullys,” Arch Lafferty of South Scranton said.
Some people like LuAnn Hehehan took a vacation day from work to help in the effort.
“If it was, God forbid, a relative of ours we would want people that would go out and help us with the search for our loved one!” LuAnn Hehehan said.
Sister Angela is presumed dead.
Police believe her nephew, Alan Smith, killed her before a standoff and arson on Washburn Street on April 28.
Her body was not found in the burned-out house so investigators think she was moved beforehand.
“She’s someone’s family member. She needs peace!” Joanie Burns of Dunmore said.
Scranton police chief Carl Graziano says searchers did find a bone deep in the woods off Ferdinand Street but he says it is definitely not connected to the disappearance of Sister Angela Miller.
The bone is being sent out for more testing to determine if it is a human bone or an animal bone.
As of now, there are no plans for another large-scale community search but officials say that could change if new information is developed.