The Star Democrat

Search expands to Eastern Shore for missing southern Maryland boater

- BY NATALIE JONES njones@chespub.com

MADISON —The search for a missing southern Maryland boater has expanded to the Eastern Shore.

Ernie Sigmon, 44, of Mechanicsv­ille, has been missing since Wednesday, Dec. 29. Sigmon was last known to be fishing on his 25-foot center console boat in the Chesapeake Bay near Dares Beach in Calvert County and failed to return home that evening, prompting family to contact police. His last contact with family was around 3 p.m. that day, according to a missing boater flyer.

The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office’s rescue team found Sigmon’s boat trolling and spinning in circles between Plum Point and Dares Beach around 6:30 p.m that day.The boat was found unoccupied and there was no sign of blood, according to the family. Sigmon’s phone was also found in the boat.

On the western side of the Bay, the search area stretches from Plum Point to the Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

In a statement, the Maryland Natural Resources Police said that they and other allied agencies have been searching for Sigmon every day since he was reported missing. Officials stated that search teams are using every resource available to assist them, including sonar equipment, drones and boat crews.

A spokespers­on from NRP added confirmati­on that they have received tips from individual­s and officers are acting upon them.

The search for Sigmon is an open investigat­ion and officials will not release GPS data from his boat, said Christina Sigmon Jones, Sigmon’s sister.

A specific search area on the Eastern Shore has not been set by officials, but individual­s have started searching for Sigmon between

Tilghman Island in Talbot County down to Taylors Island in Dorchester County.

Sigmon’s family encourages anyone who lives near or has shore access around the search areas to check the shorelines for evidence. They also ask boaters in the area to be on the lookout for Sigmon as well.

Sigmon is 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. According to the family, Sigmon was last seen wearing a grayblack jacket, a black baseball cap with a gray American flag on the front and green rubber boots.

He’s described by his family and friends as an avid fisherman and experience­d boater.

Anyone with tips or informatio­n is encouraged to contact the Maryland Natural Resources Police’s dispatch office immediatel­y at 410-260-8888.

Family and friends are also encouragin­g the public to join the “SOMD Search Parties” group on Facebook to communicat­e informatio­n and coordinate search efforts.

 ?? CONTRIBUTE­D PHOTO ?? ERNIE SIGMON III
CONTRIBUTE­D PHOTO ERNIE SIGMON III

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