ORONO – A new group is helping search for missing persons in the state of Maine, but unlike the organization’s counter parts, they’re taking a cyber approach.
Founder and administrator of Maine Missing Persons, Chris Clark, is using cyber infrastructure to assist search and rescue missions across the state.
“We kind of step in as that middle person to be able to help filter it,” says Clark.
Together with his wife and mother, Maine Missing Persons uses an open source intelligence framework to search the internet, social media, message boards and more, looking for clues for missing people.
Clark says the group has worked on rescue missions for a number of years, but it truly came to fruition last year during the search for a missing Bangor man who went by the name of ‘June Bug.’
“That case in particular really got it started that we needed something like this,” he says.
Now, the group has officially teamed up with the Down East Emergency Medicine Institute, helping alleviate some of the strains that come with a search and rescue mission.
“It’s great because it’s sort of like a resource allocation,” says Richard Bowie, Director of DEEMI. “It’s too much for one entity to do, so you almost need a second organized entity to do exactly what these guys are doing.”
This includes not only finding data, but storing it for future search and rescue missions.
In addition, the group sifts through negative information posted on the web and verifies accurate information to provide back to the missing person’s family.
“They don’t want to have to look through every bit of information such as the conspiracy theories that come with the case,” says Clark.
Maine Missing Persons is looking for people with everything from drone to wilderness experience to help gather information to provide to rescue groups.
If you would like to leave a tip, one of the best ways to reach out to them is through their Facebook page.