Police use planes in search for missing Sanford family

·2 min read

Jul. 18—Police are now using planes to help search for a Sanford family that was expected back from a camping trip late last month.

The Sanford Police Department is heading up the search for Jill Sidebotham, Nicholas Hansen and their 2-year-old daughter, Lydia Hansen, who were last spotted in a Walmart in the Oxford County town of Mexico on July 2. They had been expected by family members to return to Sanford on June 30.

Sanford police said they were working with other police around the state in the search and now have used fixed-wing aircraft operated by the Maine Warden Service to search for their vehicle near Rangeley and Mexico, where it is believed the three were camping. Police have also said they may have been camping near the Franklin County town of Phillips, where Nicholas Hansen is from.

Police said they haven't organized any ground searches for the family because they can't narrow down where they might be, despite receiving tips after putting out the word that they were missing about 10 days ago.

Police have said they don't believe the family is in danger, but they want to locate them to make sure they are safe.

They said it's unusual that they haven't contacted family members, but they also said the areas where they are believed to be are remote and may not have cell phone service.

Sanford detectives have traveled to the area to follow up on tips and confirmed that the three were at the Coos County Campground on June 29. The police department released several surveillance video images from the campground Monday.

That is the last confirmed sighting of them until they were spotted in the Mexico Walmart around 4 p.m. on July 2.

Police also said they were picked up on a surveillance camera on July 1, but they have declined to offer specifics about that siting.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office said it has received multiple tips, but has not been able to locate the family.

They were driving a 2005 VW Jetta with license plate 1563VJ and Sanford police ask that people contact their local police if anyone spots them.