Emporium State Police are investigating a report of an Indecent Assault at a residence on the Old Portage Road in Portage Township, Cameron County on Sunday at 12:30 AM. Trooper Heim said they know who the suspect is and the investigation is continuing.
EMPORIUM, Pa. — When one views the tree-lined main thoroughfare of Emporium, complete with residents lounging on large porches of Victorian homes, it’s hard to imagine that anything could disrupt the peace and tranquility of the small community.The rural Cameron County town, with a population of just over 2,000, had that small-town sense of security disrupted Aug. 8 when Thomas E. Smith, 58, hitched a ride with a woman he knew and pulled a handgun on her. The woman, a bank employee who is not being identified, slowed down her sport-utility vehicle and jumped out near West Fourth Street. After the driverless vehicle struck a house, Smith fled on foot.In the two weeks since the botched kidnapping, Emporium Borough Police and other law enforcement agencies have conducted searches of the woods, hunting camps and bars throughout the area. Residences in communities as far away as Erie and Corry have also been searched.
Police said cadaver dogs were brought in last week and used in an unsuccessful search of the nearby woods to rule out the possibility the suspect had died.
Another twist in the story occurred earlier this week when a letter, supposedly written by Smith, was left in the door frame of the Cameron County Echo newspaper. Staff at the newspaper, which is located across the street from the Sheetz store, turned the handwritten letter over to police. In it the writer claims Smith would return to “face these very stupid charges.”
Emporium Borough Police Chief John Lovett said his department and other area law enforcement officials have stayed very busy following up leads on Smith.
“We’re also staying proactive, and we’ve been in contact with other agencies such as the U.S. Marshals Office and the F.B.I.” Chief Lovett said. A $5,000 reward is being offered for fruitful information on Smith’s whereabouts.