It has been approximately seven weeks since 23-year-old Jermain Charlo went missing and on Saturday, family, friends, and volunteers gathered to search near the Great Wolf Peak Casino by Evero Hill.
The land around the casino was an area of interest to both the LifeGuard Group and law enforcement as the search for Charlo, who was reported missing on June 16, continues.
Law enforcement had previously searched the area by vehicle, but the LifeGuard Group was back to comb through the land on foot.
Crews continue to search based off of intel shared from law enforcement and tips sent directly from community members.
The LifeGuard Group receives about five to 10 tips a day with some tips placing Charlo in Seattle while others say she has been seen in eastern Montana.
"We will follow every lead. We’re not gonna get frustrated and quit and we will go anywhere and everywhere," Lowell Hochhalter, CEO of the LifeGuard Group, said. "Jermain is out there somewhere and somebody knows something. Somebody knows where Jermain is at. People don’t just disappear. They don’t just vanish. Somebody knows and somebody knows that somebody knows. At this point, we’re just looking for somebody brave enough that knows to come forward."
About 50 people joined the search on Saturday. Hochhalter said the participation by so many community members provides some comfort during the difficult time.
"The phrase that says it takes a village could not be any more true than it is in this moment right now for this family," he said. "And to see people come up here today knowing that what they could find, knowing what they could possibly stumble across, and just showing up here is acknowledging the fact that something has happened that should not have happened."
One volunteer said she and her husband felt joining the search was the least they could do for the family.
"That’s difficult to wrap your head around. I was listening to him talk and give instructions and part of me felt fearful. I did feel afraid. What if I do find something? And then also fear that we don’t find anything. I’ve always hoped and prayed that we can help find Jermain alive," Marie Torosian said.
An app called Glympse was used during the search to track progress made by volunteers and to ensure everyone in the group stayed safe.
Anyone with information about Charlo is asked to contact Missoula Police Detective Guy Baker at (406) 396-3217 or Detective Dean Chrestenson at (406) 396-3261.
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