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Authorities Urge Caution as Search for Missing Man Continues

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OLD FORGE -- The search for a missing pizzeria owner continued into another day while investigators kept mum on the investigation. Friends of Robert Baron--even Old Forge's mayor--asked people to stop speculating and start searching.

Investigators are still collecting and testing evidence found inside Robert Baron's pizza shop, Ghigiarelli's, and the car Baron had been driving.

While folks in Old Forge wait for answers, many of them are taking the investigation into their own hands and trying to find him.

Old Forge Mayor Robert Mulkerin says many in the borough are behind computer screens trying to find businessman Robert Baron.

"Unfortunately, people do fill in the blanks with their own speculation," the mayor said. "The rumor goes wild, social media perpetuates that. You know, people just need to be mindful and respectful of what they post, and rumors."

Mayor Mulkerin joined about a dozen searchers in the snow leading their own effort to find Baron who was last seen Wednesday night. The information that has been released about his disappearance indicates Baron may have been attacked before he went missing.

"There are a lot of things that are second and third person, rumor mill, not even acknowledge half of it because people talk, so, you just got to brush it off and go with your own gut feeling and know that something happened to this man, whatever it was, let the cops deal with that and help give the family some comfort," said Jennifer Smith of Moscow.

Smith is not from Old Forge and doesn't know the Baron family but felt compelled to join the group scouring streets in the borough for clues.

"You got to think about it, if it was your father, your mother, your sister, your brother, if you were in that position, you would want anybody and everybody helping you, so I'm here."

The group looked around corners, in dumpsters, and through an old industrial site for anything that could point to Baron.

The searchers found a jacket and then a pair of pants. Family friend Jason Thomas said the clothes don't look like anything Baron would wear, but anything could help.

"There's a lot of rumors, a hundred different stories, a hundred different speculations, fingers are being pointed in a hundred different directions. Until there's proof of anything, I think everybody should keep the rumors to themselves. Especially, stay off social media. The family is looking at this, and it's not good."

Officers continued to search the car that Robert Baron had been driving.

Evidence found inside Ghigiarelli's, including blood and a tooth, have been sent to a lab for testing. Those results could take weeks.


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