CASART - 25th Activation

St. Lawrence County, NY 05/27/10

CASART was activated for a search and rescue operation in the vicinity of Parishville in St. Lawrence County on Wednesday 05/26/10 by the New York State Federation of Search & Rescue Teams. A 74 year old woman, Shirleen Lavine or subject was last seen Friday evening 05/21/10 when she left her home to attend a birthday party at a nearby home. She drove her car off the main highway and found herself traveling several miles south on Picketville Road, which soon turns from paved to dirt then becomes an ATV trail, ending up in dense forest north of the Rainbow Falls Reservoir. The subject’s car was found 7.6 miles down this road over the weekend, where she apparently became stuck attempting to turn around. Family members had said Lavine was showing signs of dementia.
Three (3) CASART members reported to the ICP at 7:00 am on Thursday 05/27/10, Paul Repak, Mike Majdak and Chuck Taylor. Our crew of 8, all experienced searchers, was sent several miles by truck to Morgan Road on the southwestern edge of the search area, where we were to find a preset grid corner on the northern side of Five Falls Reservoir. The woods road took us to a wooden bridge over Dead Creek that was marked unsafe for vehicle passage. From there we continued on foot 1.5 miles to our assigned area in heavy woods cover. We arrived at the flagged location on the edge of the reservoir at 1040 hrs.
Just as we began our Type III pattern, we heard over command radio that the subject had been found, and code indicated that she was alive. We thought that amazing after 6 days. We were directed to walk back out to our vehicle, but to remain there to await further instruction. We thought that strange, given that the subject was found. Not until we were finally released to return to the ICP did we learn that the subject was in fact found deceased. We surmised we were not immediately released from our search location in case there was a need to search for additional evidence. We learned that she was found face-up in a clearing not far from Picketville Road, approximately two miles back toward Parishville from where her vehicle was found. It was not known if she had walked back along the road or wandered through the woods. We departed the ICP for home at approximately 1315 hours. An autopsy reported she had accidentally drowned.

To find out more about the team or to get a membership application write to CASART at P.O. Box 143, Inlet, NY 13360, call us at 315-357-4381, visit our web site at, or send email to


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