‘It's Not Easy to Disappear Like That': Search for Missing Maine Family Continues

The family was supposed to return from a camping trip on June 30 but has not been heard from in weeks

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As of Tuesday, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is part of the search for 2-year-old Lydia Hansen, who, along with her parents, Jill Sidebotham and Nicholas Hansen, has been missing for more than two weeks.

Sanford Police have been searching since July 2 for all three and a silver 2005 Volkswagen Jetta they were traveling in with a Maine license plate 1563V.

According to Sanford Police Lt. Matt Gagne, no one has heard from Sidebotham, Hansen, who police say is her ex-boyfriend or their daughter since June 28.

That’s when Sidebotham last contacted her family, saying she would be going on a camping trip to rural Western Maine and returning on June 30.

She has not come back nor spoken to her family since then, despite being sighted with Hansen and her daughter on June 29 at Coos Canyon Campground in Byron, Maine, and a Walmart store in Mexico, Maine.

"The whole situation is really unusual," said Gagne, explaining that Sidebotham is close with her family and that they have told investigators it is strange that she would not be in contact.

In a Wednesday interview with NECN and NBC10 Boston, Gagne noted that, though the area where the family was sighted is proximate to remote regions with little cell phone coverage, there is still a likelihood that Sidebotham’s cell phone would have pinged off of a service tower or that she would have executed some form of electronic bank transaction like an ATM withdrawal or credit or debit card purchase.

Yet, there has been no cell phone or financial activity like that in weeks to inform a more targeted search.

"With modern technology, it’s not easy to disappear like that," Gagne said, adding that Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife planes had not been able to spot the family or their car either.

Gagne also explained that investigators do not believe the family purchased enough food to sustain themselves for an extended period in the remote woods while they were at the Walmart on July 2, if that was their intent.

He also said investigators have no firm reason to believe the family is in distress but pointed out that in the extended period of time they have been away, it is possible they have left Maine for another state.

Sanford Police are asking anyone who sees Lydia, her parents or the Volkswagen to "contact their local law enforcement entity."

"We’re asking everybody, pretty much in any New England state, to be on the lookout," said Gagne.

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