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Volunteers requested to help in the search for Amy Harding-Permann

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Posted at 6:13 PM, Jan 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-28 20:29:15-05

AT A GLANCE:

  • Amy Harding-Permann was last seen leaving residence on Flood Road on foot Sunday evening
  • Deputies, police, firefighters, dogs, a drone, and a helicopter are being used
  • Disappearance is being handled as a missing person investigation at this point
  • Sheriff asks volunteers who want to help search to meet on Wednesday morning

(GREAT FALLS) Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter said during a news conference on Tuesday that the search continues for Amy Harding-Permann. He says that with improving weather conditions, he is asking people who wish to help in the search to meet at Faith Lutheran Church (1300 Ferguson Drive) at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, and be prepared to assist until sunset.

Slaughter asks that volunteers be at least 18 years old, in good health, and wear weather-appropriate clothing. He asked that volunteers also bring and wear a safety vest (such as used for hunting) or a life-jacket (such as used for boating). Bring your own water and a sack lunch, along with identification and a cell phone. He stressed that safety of the volunteer searchers is critical.

Anyone that would like to help but is not able to participate in the search is welcome to bring bottled water and/or snacks to the search headquarters on Wednesday. People that show up to help after the initial meeting time of 7:30 a.m. may be utilized in another capacity.

Sheriff Slaughter also said that a "Code Red" alert will be sent out to alert people in and around the search area that searchers will be in the vicinity of Woodland Estates and Flood Road on Wednesday.

He declined to release details of any possible criminal investigation, and stressed that at this point, it is still a missing person investigation. However, KRTV has learned that the house has been secured by law enforcement since the investigation began.

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.

Sheriff Slaughter said on Monday that she 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 will keep you updated as we get more information.