Governor joins search for missing toddler

Kathy McCarty, Special to The County
17 years ago

    FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine – The search for missing 3-year-old Alexandria Winship-Wright continued over the weekend in this border community, with a high-ranking state official joining the effort – one of two locations he visited that involved searching for missing area youth.
    Gov. John E. Baldacci spent part of his day Saturday, May 26, visiting search teams in Van Buren and Fort Fairfield.
In Van Buren, the governor met with members of the Maine Warden Service who had been called in to search for 15-year-old Lucas Lavoie, who had reportedly been swimming at the dock with friends Friday evening when he began having trouble. Friends attempted to get Lavoie out of the water but when they were unsuccessful, they went to the nearby border station for help. Emergency personnel, including members of the Maine State Police, Van Buren Police and Fire departments, and members of the Maine Warden Service began searching for the teenager Friday evening. Search teams returned to the water early Saturday morning. Lavoie’s body was recovered a short time later a short distance from where he had dived into the water Friday evening.
According to the Maine Warden Service, water temperature was around 50 degrees and probably factored into the teen’s distress upon jumping in. Baldacci met with officials on Saturday in Van Buren, then traveled to Fort Fairfield where he got a firsthand look at search efforts there.
While in Fort Fairfield, Baldacci took to the water, joining a search team by boat.
The toddler was reported missing from her family’s apartment not far from the Aroostook River by her mother, Mandy Wright, on April 25. Search teams have been on the scene daily trying to locate the little girl. Mementos have been tied along the dike, including teddy bears, flowers, cards, pictures of the girl, toys and rosaries. All that’s been found to date are a pair of pink boots that the girl was reportedly wearing when she disappeared.
Sgt. Tom Ward, of the Maine Warden Service, indicated that efforts will continue indefinitely to locate the girl. Canadian officials have been allowing searchers to travel all the way to Tinker Dam in an effort to locate the child.
Officials ask that anyone out hiking or boating in the area be on the lookout for the girl. Winship-Wright was last seen wearing a light blue shirt and blue jeans. She has blond hair, blue eyes, has her ears pierced and also responds to the name ‘Allie.’ She reportedly weighs around 29 pounds.
Posters and flyers have been distributed in various communities, including a picture and description of Alexandria. Information has also been listed with The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at www.missingkids.com. Anyone having information should contact the center at the Web address or by calling 800-843-5678. The Fort Fairfield Police Department can be reached at 472-3808.