Possible sighting reported of missing Julian woman as volunteers search area

lfalce@centredaily.comJuly 7, 2014 

A new lead in the disappearance of a woman missing since Friday had not panned out by Monday night.

According to Will Bachman, there has been a sighting “consistent” with descriptions of his sister, Susan Bachman, 37, of Julian.

Susan Bachman jumped from a moving car on Interstate 80 between DuBois and Clarion on Friday morning while her parents were driving her to Clarion Psychiatric Center. She rolled, got up, jumped a fence and ran into the woods.

That was the last confirmed sighting of the Penn State graduate — until early Monday morning.

Bachman said a driver had told state police at DuBois about seeing a woman with disheveled hair and blue jeans walking on Sulgar Road in Warsaw, about 9 miles from where she was last seen. When the driver slowed down, she fled into the bushes. He turned around, seeing that she had returned to the road, only to have her disappear again.

“We are cautiously optimistic,” Bachman said. “We are very, very excited, but we don’t want to get our hopes up too much.”

However, he said, the description is a good match to his sister in appearance and behavior.

“If true, it would suggest that Susan is alive and she has been able to get something to drink, to follow along the road, to get some food,” he said.

This is the first significant clue to Susan Bachman’s well-being since her wallet — containing credit and bank cards and identification — and her disabled cellphone were found in a barn on Friday.

But by 9 p.m. Monday, the search party had scoured the new area and come up empty.

“Unfortunately, the search dogs were not able to pick up the scent in the vicinity of the possible sighting of Susan that occurred this morning at 3 a.m. Three separate dogs worked to find the scent, and none of them alerted,” Will Bachman said. “While we are disappointed that this lead has not panned out, we are deeply, deeply appreciative for the members of Track & Trail Search and Rescue Inc. who helped on Friday and then again today in the search for Susan.”

Bachman was emotional talking about the response from the public. About 60 people showed up for a search of the area Monday.

“It really shows the kind of people who are out there,” he said. “People are willing to help out for someone they don’t even know.”

Trooper Ron Chewning was on scene with the search party until about 2 p.m. He said no progress had been made at that time, but that was with dogs and people searching the interstate and surrounding areas where Susan was last seen, not a spot almost 10 miles away.

Bachman said fresh dogs are being brought in, and the family hopes to have the area of the new sighting searched Tuesday if necessary. The constant state of not knowing is taking its toll on the Bachmans.

“Obviously, we are still incredibly on edge. It’s just an emotional roller coaster,” Bachman said. They are dealing with it by staying in action and continuing to try to spread word of Susan’s disappearance.

A website, www.findsusanbachman .com, has a flier about the case.

The family is hopeful that by the end of Tuesday, every gas station in Pennsylvania will have a copy of it as visitors to the site print and distribute them so that other drivers will know to be on the lookout.

“It is so important for people who could see her to know,” Bachman said.

Lori Falce can be reached at 235-3910. Follow her on Twitter @Lori Falce.

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