Family of missing New Freedom woman releases statement about search

Harper Ho
York Dispatch

The family of a New Freedom woman who vanished near the York County Heritage Rail Trail this past weekend released a statement Thursday laying out the rules and logistics moving forward in the search for Nicole Elizabeth Ebaugh.

"Over the past several days, we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support in the efforts to find my sister Nicole," said Matt Ebaugh, who spoke on behalf of the family in the statement. "We are releasing this statement to clear up any miscommunication."

The statements asks people to "please be wary of any" social media posts that don't come from state police or directly from the family as search efforts continue. 

Nicole Elizabeth Ebaugh, 29, was last seen near the rail trail parking area on Glatfelters Station Road in North Codorus Township between 10:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. March 6, state police said. 

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Following Ebaugh’s disappearance, police used cellphone records to track down her yellow Volkswagen Beetle, which was abandoned in a parking lot by the trail.

Officials conducted mass search efforts utilizing helicopters, horses and volunteers. 

Matt Ebaugh said "several discrepancies in the information related to how people can and cannot help" had arisen the past several days.

The family issued guidelines in the statement for those who wish to help.

Some of these guidelines include joining Facebook group "The SEARCH for Nicole Ebaugh" to become a volunteer.

Volunteers shouldn't interfere or disrupt work by search and rescue dogs or members of the search and rescue crew, according to the statement. 

Volunteers should also treat the search area as a crime scene and asks them to not talk to press because the family isn't speaking to press, according to the statement.

Matt Ebaugh said that the situation is fluid and thanked officials, volunteers and the community for their help.

"It saddens us that we must release this statement so please take this information to heart. Our family is experiencing a very trying time, but the outpouring of love and support has been truly humbling. We will continue to provide updates as is necessary and appropriate," the statement reads.