MECCA, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Update: Indiana State Police have cancelled the Silver Alert for Betty Jane Capps of Mecca as of Monday, September 18.
Original: Search efforts for Betty Capps, or Jane to those who know and love her, continues since her disappearance over a month ago.
“Her candle. You could tell it had been burning on the table,” Melanie Capps, stepdaughter of Betty Jane Capps said. “She had left with her house slippers on, just her wallet, house was unlocked, dog was there. So, it was kind of like she had run out to go get a drink or cigarettes or some reason, I don’t know why.”
Parke County Sheriff, Jason Frazier said that Betty Jane Capps was last seen leaving her residence the evening of June 29. Earlier that afternoon, severe storms tore through the county downing trees, closing down roadways and causing Mecca to lose power for four days.
Frazier said on July 4, her family reported her missing.
“Since then, we’ve searched many areas,” Frazier said.
The sheriff’s office utilizes several resources to aid their search efforts.
“We flew the drone around the area, flew the airplane around the western side of the county, searched ditches, walked ditches.”
At the request of the Sheriff, Indiana Conservation Officers were called in to use sonar technology to search waterways. Sonar allows Conservation Officers like Max Winchell to eliminate areas or identify target areas for divers.
“Right now, the biggest challenge is where to search,” Winchell said. “We’ve searched at least 8 or 9 areas.”
Another resource is license plate technology.
“At this time, there’s been no indication that she’s passed through the area,” Frazier said.
As they continue efforts, Sheriff Frazier said they are continuing to expand their search area. Indiana Conservation Officers will return Thursday. Frazier said they will continue to search until she is found.
To increase manpower; family, friends, and community members have organized searches.
To those out searching Frazier said, “I just ask if they do come across anything that may be involved in our case, to mark it, don’t disturb it, and call us.”
What should citizens look for when searching?
“Damaged vegetation, scuffs on a tree where a vehicle may have went through,” Winchell said. “If you’re looking at water, a lot of times a vehicle in the water it’s going to leave an oily sheen on top of the water from the fluids in the vehicle.”
Melanie Capps pleaded to the public, “If anybody knows anything, of her whereabouts or anything that happened, to let us know. The most important thing at this time is for us to have Jane back home. Regardless of the circumstances, we just want her home.”
A statewide silver alert was declared after Capps went missing. She is 68 years old, about 5 Feet 3 inches tall. She has brown hair and blue eyes and a tattoo of a butterfly on her right leg. She drives a gray 2007 Ford Focus.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Parke County Sheriff’s office at 765-569-5413 or you can call 911.