WATER SEARCH TO CONTINUE FOR TONI SHARPLESS THURSDAY

3, POSSIBLY 4 CARS UNDERWATER ARE STILL UNIDENTIFIED

The search for missing mom and nurse Toni Lee Sharpless will continue on Thursday, just outside of Philadelphia on the banks of the Schuylkill River. The area of interest is still a boat ramp, less than a mile from the home of Philly 76er Willie Green, where Sharpless was last seen leaving on 8/23/09. Five cars were located and “cleared”. (Meaning they were not Toni Sharpless’ car.) However, there are still 3 vehicles, (possibly four) that were identified by sonar equipment used by Texas EquuSearch. Family members and onlookers seemed distraught Friday when Police pulled out of the search, but according to police they just weren’t expecting to retrieve the number of cars they did and did not have the manpower or appropriate equipment to remove that many cars. So they will return Thursday with a crane to remove all the cars, including those still unidentified. First, divers will enter the water to locate and identify the vehicles still not cleared. Police believe the other vehicles may have been discarded for insurance purposes or possibly involved in other crimes. Police have barricaded the entrance of the ramp to avoid anyone from attemtping to remove or tamper with possible evidence.

The area identified by the work of Tim Miller from Texas EquuSearch, is an area of interest because it would have been possible to mistake the river for a road, and Toni could have simply driven in, especially given the circumstances; it was dark, and she had allegedly been drinking. Stay tuned we will have to wait until Thursday for answers.

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32 thoughts on “WATER SEARCH TO CONTINUE FOR TONI SHARPLESS THURSDAY

  1. Whoah, I bet those Cops are complaining..lol. Wow, finding all those cars, you know they have to be related to a crime. It’s not a daily occurence when people drive their car into a river.

    Pandora Box, I’d say. Hope the LE there has the cajones to work these investigations.

  2. Thanks for keeping this search in the news.
    Are the wooden sawhorse barriers on the ramps the only thing keeping someone from tampering? I hope they have posted a guard of some kind – electronic or human.
    I am appalled at the total lack of interest the police have showed for this family.

  3. Just because the Police weren’t able to retrieve all the cars , couldn’t Tims crew have at least did a few dives to where they know there are still unidentified vehicles , to at least see if the car they are looking for is down there ?
    The waiting has got to be so terrible for Toni’s family . My goodness I cannot even imagine.
    Thank you so much for keeping us updated , you seem to be the only one who is 😦

  4. Today the police pulled several cars from the river. Not sure if they got to them ALL or they are done. It’s a mystery like everything else about this case. The police have not answered calls from the family – because they heard about the retreval of the cars and wanted to know if one was Toni’s…No response from the police. I guess they believe in “No news is good news”. BULLSHIT!

    Toni’s mom talked to a psychic and was told the Toni is ALIVE and in RISING SUN, MD along a road some where. OMG! What is up with that shit??!! Who tells people stuff like that? Not fair…

  5. Kim – I believe Mr. Miller’s ‘crew’ consists simply of himself. He might have had one other fellow there I believe but I’m not sure on that.

    They did not bring in a whole team of people as a lot of people think. I understand that all the divers are local police divers that are working on the dive site. I also understand the dive and car retrieval was planned prior to Mr. Miller’s arrival. The paperwork to pay the wreckers and approve the OT for the officer’s was in process prior to Mr. Miller’s arrival.

    Debbie: Mr Miller has not returned for the search today and probably won’t. My understanding is that there was no search today and no more cars were pulled from the water. But I don’t know if it was postponed to another day or not.

  6. Tim Miller was called by Toni Sharpless’ family because they were desperate for help. No one in PA was doing anything to help locate Toni for over 3 weeks. There was no water search planned prior to him arriving in PA. Nothing was waiting for approval. So her family asked Tim is he would be willing to do a search because nothing had been done. Where was the local law enforcement and SAR prior to Tim Miller coming to PA? Once Mr. Miller arrived, he searched an area that he was told had previously been scanned, and that no vehicles were found. He found 9-10 in one day. Here’s my question to you..Since Mr. Miller, who travels at his own expense, left; what has local SAR done?? Just curious. Let’s get the focus back on finding Toni. Let’s get law enforecment to do their job and eliminate the possibilty that Toni is in the river. Thanks.

    1. 1 – steph get your facts straight… do you know the local sars? NO… the local sars first response are to emergencies and if no one called her in as missing then how can they respond? Pray tell please! Have you asked the local sars if they were contacted by the family or did you ask the family if they contacted the local sars? So Steph, I could be wrong, but if I am not why not back off the local teams.

  7. Have Toni’s family/friends done a methodical search of every street in the area between Rt. 30 and the river? (in the Gladwyne and Penn Valley areas) I mean driving by slowly and looking for any areas of disturbed brush/trees or areas where a car could be hidden? I’m assuming they’ve tried re-creating any possible route she may have taken, but this area specifically could be searched street-by-street so THAT possibility could be eliminated (rather than just focusing on the river).

  8. Maybe the family did reach out to Mr. Miller. I said I didn’t know that for sure.

    I was told that LE was planning on pulling cars there and that plans were in place to do that. I have no reason to doubt that source. But I won’t make any excuses for LE. The river should have been searched sooner and if the local SAR teams were involved earlier, I’m sure the river would have been searched much sooner.

    I don’t know what local SAR has done. But I don’t believe they have ever been asked by anyone, (family or LE), to be involved. Mr Miller was asked by the family to help. SAR teams can’t just inject themselves into missing persons case without being asked unfortunately. Either LE must request them or the family must invite them. Since SAR isn’t privy to all the details of a case, they can’t just jump in based on media reports.

    Kudos to Mr Miller for travelling on his own dime. I have no problem with Mr Miller coming in and offerring advice to the family and helping out.

    But I still keep coming back to the fact that once Mr. Miller was called, why wasn’t his first question to the family… “Thank you for calling me and I’d be happy to help anyway I can. Can I ask if you have talked with any local SAR teams? If not, you can contact the PA SAR Council for assistance. I will be happy to work with you and advise your family and work with the local teams since they should have most of the equipment available locally and what they don’t have I can arrange.”

    Mr Miller could use his influence and considerable knowledge to help strengthen local SAR teams by including them and working with them and advising them if need be. Instead of coming in and making it look like they are too incompetent to handle a search and a team from Texas has to be called in. He could help strengthen the local teams in this manner so they are all the better for the next person that goes missing.

    If Mr. Miller would build relationships with the local PA teams and work with them when he’s here, he might feel more comfortable in the future to refer families to the local teams and be able to spend his valuable time in other locations that have no teams at all. He shouldn’t exclude them from the begining but should try to include them from the begining.

    Your right in that the river still needs to be cleared of the remaining cars. Hopefully LE will finish that up soon. There was no sign of anyone at the ramp today.

  9. There has been sooooo much missed because this has never happened to us before and we don’t know what to do. When we ask for help from the local authorities because we respect them and look up to them as our protectors from harm and evil, but get NOTHING….we do it ourselves! and we are bound to do things wrong. We are grateful to Tim and his Team, or his volunteers. My bestfriend’s husband was the guy with the boat on Friday last week…we knew that he was using the Philly Police Divers…who where complete assholes and macho cops who quit half way through with NO EXPLANATION. Left the family and friends wondering what the hell is going on and WHY THE HELL DID WE HAVE TO WAIT….and as far as the Lower Marion Police department…they do not answer the phone, talk to the family, offer suggestions as to where we need to go/do/call next – whatever! They are SOOOOO non-helpful! I come from a Police background, I have cops in my family and a military background(I was an MP for 13.5years in the Army), seems to me if they want the media circus stopped, they should come AT LEAST to the family and give them an update on the progression of the investigation. If they don’t I will make it my personal responsibility to keep this front and center of the media and take it as far as I can, to get help in finding Toni from All the sources I can. And you can bet your ass if I find that (as I have) we should have been seeking local orgainizations that have been available but unknown to us that could have helped investigate from jump-street, taht will NEVER be a mystery again to others in our position.

  10. Thanks Gigi. I can’t make excuses for the PD. I’m not privy to that.

    But education of local police and fire departments concerning PA SAR teams and resources is a major problem. PA has so many little local departments it’s not even funny. The hardest thing is get the authorities to call the SAR teams early enough when they can make the biggest difference. We try to encourage them to at least make a phone call and consult with team representative in the very early hours of the investigation. Two heads consulting and working together are always better then one.

    SAR teams are not there to take over an investigation from the PD or a rescue from the FD. They are simply there to advise the local authority(ies) in charge and help make sure that a competent and complete search is under taken. SAR team members usually avoid the media and NEVER identify the team member(s) or K-9 involved in actual finds or searches. Any find is a team effort.

    SAR teams make efforts to have all the available euipment needed for the various types of searches they may be called upon and they work to network with other organizations that can provide resources they may not have on the immediate team. There should be no need for a family of a missing person to have to depend on family or friends for a boat or sonar equipment. These are available. Family and friends have enough things to worry about then where a boat is coming from.

  11. In answer to Annette’s question – “have friends and family made a methodical search of the area, instead of focusing on the river..” Answer: Yes we have. We have done as much searching as we are capable of. We need more help. We have combed every road we can think of in that area looking for accident sites. There are many dirt roads we did not go down yet but have made mental notes to go back to those areas. There are a few of us that spend our every waking hour (and in our nightmares) thinking of where to look, trying to recreate what we “assume” happened, based on the bullshit info that Crystal has given us. Who knows what Willie Green’s side of the story is…haven’t heard a word from him…Woman goes missing from his private party and he’s got NOTHING to say???? What about the other people who were in the house???? What are they saying???? Where are they????

  12. gigi if you have the police background you should know that you do not have to tell anyone where you are going, your business is your business. also if I am correct they had a body float so they had to take care of that and unfortunately it was not Toni’s. So just take it easy.
    As for what Tiller was saying… 1 – There is some truth in what is said 2 – you have to also remember jurisdiction, one can’t step on someone elses toes… Texas Equusearch can as they have no affiliation to anyone and can go where they please. That is also why that got thrown out of Aruba too. 3 – Also if you are from a police background you should know there is the county public safety department and they would have a listing of who can help. I am not blaming the family as they were upset and would not have thought of this, but as for you, you could have helped in that matter. I am not sure if you are pointing the finger, but it does seem that way. The matter is upsetting, please do not make it worse for them.

  13. Keri – I am selling absolutely nothing. Unless you think that my wanting families, LE and FD’s to support and utilize the 100% volunteer, free, non-profit Pennsylvania SAR teams is selling.

    SAR teams all across PA go through this issue constantly. They aren’t there to take over searchs from the official LE or FD in charge but are there to assist, advise and provide resources. They are too often contacted way to late in 90% of most searchs. Usually by the time they decide to call the SAR teams in its turned from search & rescue to search & recovery.

    Gigi – It would be nice if Willie Green would voluntarily allow a search team to use a couple of cadaver trained search dogs to rule out his residence and property. It’s doubtful if Toni would still be there but after the Yale student case you can’t rule anything out. It would at least check off one more property.

  14. I never heard of these 100% volunteer, free, non-profit Pennsylvania SAR teams. Where are they now? This case is not over, Toni is not found yet. Your telling me that there is free help out there, just sitting back watching this story and doing nothing? They will not do anything unless contacted? They will not contact the family in need? OK Tiller, You know so much about this SAR team, give the family a damn phone number to call them. What are they waitng for? A phone call according to you. Sounds like bullsh** to me. Just like the good job the local police are doing on this case. Not! It all comes down to how much money they have to spend on this search. And the answer is $0.00. So if you know how to contact a 100% volunteer, free, non-profit Pennsylvania SAR team, then just do it or give the family the info so they can do it.

  15. “Response to gigi says:” Who are you? Who told you they had a body float?? How do you know it wasn’t Toni? What about the other cars? Yup, I AM POINTING THE FINGER. I have helped them seek other public services for help. I’m the last person they would think is “making things worse for the family.” You don’t know what you are talking about.

  16. Rick. You haven’t looked to hard then. Any google search will turn them up.

    I believe the family is aware of PA SAR now. No thanks to Mr.Miller who should have suggested at least contacting them immediatly when first called. Local LE is also aware of them.

  17. Tiller, I just clicked on the link you put on there and it gave me a Trogan. Thanks alot! Do not click on that link. Give them a Phone number instead.

  18. Mr Miller is the only one who did anything. If there really are Pennsylvania SAR teams they need to get off thier asses and jump right on this case. What the hell are they waiting for? They did not see this Pennsylvania case on the news? They should have contacted the family if they are real. No wounder they are contacted to late 90% of the time. What are they waiting for? A phone call? Hello, Missing woman in PA here!! WTF

  19. I sure hope I never have one of my kids go missing in PA. This is bullsh**t. I will contact Mr. Miller if I ever need help. God forbid. I am also going to make a donation to Texas Equusearch for the good job that they have done. I hope Mr. Miller will come back and help again. No one in PA is doing the job. We can all donate here…

    http://texasequusearch.org/category/missing/active/

    Steph,

    Can you contact your friend Nancy Grace for us on this case? I will send her an e-mail to but I think she would look at your e-mails before mine. Thanks for all your good work here to. Keep us posted!

  20. Steph it would be a help if you contacted Nancy Grace. I have tried several times to e-mail her and call, but if they are reading my mail they are not responding.

  21. Rick,

    “PSARC teams may be dispatched by their local EMA systems or through the Council wide dispatch system. This system can be activated by calling the PEMA Operations center at 1-800-424-7362 or by calling MEDSTAT at 1-800-MED-STAT. ”

    The above text is copied from the PSARC web site under their dispatch procedures. (and I didn’t get a trojan horse virus when I went there).

    Sorry you feel the way you do Rick. If Pennsylvanians stepped up to the plate and provided some funding for search & rescue maybe you might get a better response.. maybe not. No PA government provides ANY money to SAR teams. Nothing.. zero…. In any case, donate where you want, but you won’t be helping to improve the system for future lost people.

    Don’t just whine and complain about volunteers who willingly volunteer their time and money to try and help people they don’t even know.

    If you think the system sucks then go out and help fix it and don’t say it’s not your problem. Sending $$$ to Mr. Miller is fine but it just helps cannibalize your own local groups. Mr. Miller came by himself and one other person. Do you want to let your son/daughter/mother/father out in the woods without looking for the 12-24 hrs it’ll take him (1 or 2 people), to get here? When you can have 20-30 people looking in 3-4 hrs?

    If you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Supporting Mr. Miller is fine. But it does zero to help your state, your community or your family in the event of a lost person.

    Sorry someone missed the boat on this one. But it wasn’t the PA SAR teams.

    I do believe the family is aware of PA SAR now. And I believe it was becaue PA SAR did reach out to them.

  22. Great! Then we should see 20 or 30 people from PA SAR searching……………anytime now????????? I bet we will see Mr. Miller back first.

  23. Speaking as a former SAR trained individual, we could not get involved until the service was activated by Law Enforcement or Emergency Services. There are very good reasons for that. Local LE are in charge of any scene (crime scene or last known location of) and any involvement of nonLE can result in these scenes being compromised, not to mention legal action against the SAR organization.
    The volunteers with any SAR group don’t run around through wooded areas, bodies of water, chiggers, ticks, poison ivy, etc training without purpose. The ones I know would be just as frustrated as everybody else that they can’t do what they have trained to do. BUT, they can’t until they are told they can. If they do so without proper authorization it very well may result in serious problems, even if the local LE are not doing everything they could.

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