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Law enforcement not giving up hope of finding missing doctor; individuals OK’d to search the area

Although the search for a missing physician was suspended Monday, the Monongalia County sheriff said Tuesday they are not giving up on finding Dr. John Lawson Magruder.

The search began Friday at Coopers Rock State Forest after the doctor was reported missing and his vehicle found at the park.

“We are still actively following up on leads for the missing doctor.  We are keeping the family informed and they are aware of what is going on.  They are on board with everything we are doing right now,” Sheriff Perry Palmer told The Dominion Post Tuesday afternoon.

Because law enforcement believes there is a chance of a positive outcome with them finding Magruder, Palmer said he is unable to release specific details that could disrupt the investigation.

Search parties from multiple law enforcement and search and rescue agencies searched over 842 acres of Coopers Rock, dedicating 1,000 man hours to finding Magruder from Friday until the search was halted Monday.

The search had been focused in that area after Magruder’s car was found there, but little else is known about his possible whereabouts.  He is described as a white male, 5-foot-11, and weighing approximately 260 pounds.

Many members of the community know Magruder as a child neurologist affiliated with WVU Medicine and assistant professor at WVU School of Medicine Pediatric Neurology Division. They are hoping for his safe return.

Palmer said while the formal search of the Coopers Rock area has been suspended, there are still deputies actively patrolling that area on all shifts.

The sheriff also gave the go-ahead for individuals or private search parties to continue to search the park, if they wish to do so.

“Our biggest concern at the time was because of the dogs we had up there,” Palmer said.  Too many people with different scents walking around the area may confuse dogs looking for certain scents or scent changes.

Palmer said his department will continue to follow any leads on Magruder and asks anyone who has information to call the Mon County Sheriff’s Office at 304-291-7260.