Police end active search for missing Leverett man; investigation ongoing


Staff Writer
Published: 4/8/2021 9:01:10 PM

LEVERETT — Despite Leverett police officers and firefighters and Massachusetts State Police troopers completing another extensive search of Richard Drury’s property in late March, the missing man’s whereabouts remain unknown nearly four months after his disappearance.

Police Chief Scott Minckler wrote in an email this week that State Police officers with K-9s conducted another search of the area around Drury’s house on Dudleyville Road on March 24.

The search team included Minckler, Fire Chief John Ingram, Deputy Fire Chief Brian Cook and State Police Lt. Adam Hakkarainen.

“Due to the negative findings, it was determined that no more searches will be conducted in the area behind or around Mr. Drury’s house, unless creditable information is obtained (that) points to a specific area to search,” Minckler wrote.

Drury, 69, is described as a white man, 5 foot, 5 inches tall with thinning white hair and a white beard. He was last seen in his driveway, off the gravel road that runs between the Moore’s Corner section of Leverett and the Shutesbury town line, on Dec. 11 or Dec. 12.

On Dec. 14, emergency calls were made about his welfare when his dogs were barking from the property and appeared to be both hungry and affected by the elements. In addition, Drury’s vehicle was still parked in the driveway.

Drury, the former longtime operator of the town’s transfer station, was believed to be wearing blue jeans and a tan coat when he disappeared.

The most recent sweep of the property followed the first extensive search, involving more than 55 emergency responders and others in the woods on Dec. 15 and 16. That search was suspended by a snowstorm on Dec. 17.

“This was a tough decision to make, but searchers felt they have exhausted the area around and behind Mr. Drury’s home,” Minckler wrote.

But Minckler said the investigation is still ongoing by both the Leverett Police Department and State Police, even though the active searches have stopped. Previous efforts to contact or identify relatives of Drury were unsuccessful.

Anyone with information about Drury’s disappearance should contact the Leverett Police Department at 413-548-4994 or the Shelburne Control dispatch center at 413-625-8200.

Minckler added that there is no evidence of any connection between Drury’s disappearance and Geoffrey R. “Randy” Arthur, a 68-year-old Sunderland man who was reported missing in late March.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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