GREAT FALLS — The search for Amy Harding-Permann in Great Falls continued on Tuesday morning.
Harding, a 34-year old nurse in Great Falls, was last seen leaving her residence at 343 Flood Road on foot at about 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 26th.
Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter said on Monday that Amy got into an argument with her boyfriend John VanGilder at the residence. She then allegedly assaulted him before leaving the house and headed in the direction of the Missouri River, which is very close to the house. VanGilder told police she was not dressed for the weather as she was only wearing a long sleeve shirt and yoga pants.
Sheriff Slaughter said that search crews were called out quickly because Harding was not dressed for the weather; temperatures at the time were in the 30s, with wind-chills below freezing. He explained, "At the point that our initial search did not find her, due to the weather conditions, her not being dressed appropriately and due to the environment and conditions we were in, she was a missing person."
Searchers and detectives from the Sheriff's office, Great Falls Police Department, Malmstrom Air Force Base, and rural fire departments looked throughout the day on the ground, in the river, and in the air with a helicopter and drone. Search dogs are also being used.
We also asked Sheriff Slaughter for clarification on what criteria needs to be met before his office will consider someone a missing or endangered person. Slaughter said that each case is different, and they do not wait for a specific time frame before someone is considered missing.
Sheriff Slaughter says that at this point, they are not asking for volunteers to assist in the search, but will let people know if that changes. He advised that people avoid the area if possible so search crews can perform their duties.
Anyone with information about Amy's whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 406-454-6979.