2014-03-27 / Front Page

Police Close Laceyville Bridge in Missing Person Investigation

David Keeler

Tunkhannock State Police set up a tent on Church Street as part of their investigation into a missing man who may be in the Susquehanna River. Photo by David KeelerTunkhannock State Police set up a tent on Church Street as part of their investigation into a missing man who may be in the Susquehanna River. Photo by David Keeler

Tunkhannock State Police closed down Laceyville’s river bridge and much of Church Street on Sunday, March 30, in connection with a bizarre missing person investigation that may have involved the victim either jumping or being pushed into the rain-swollen Susquehanna River from the bridge.

According to state police, emergency crews from Laceyville, Mehoopany, Meshoppen and the Tunkhannock dive team were called out between 2:30 and 3:00 a.m. to search the river near Laceyville for the missing man.

Police said the subject of the search is Thomas C. Yates, 46, of Bellmore, NY, who is described by police as being five-feet-four-inches tall, 140 pounds, with brown hair, brown eyes and a mustache.

Yates was last seen on the Laceyville bridge between 2:30 and 3:00 a.m. Sunday. He was wearing a dark-colored suit and shirt. Police said he has cerebral palsy and walks with a pronounced limp.Thomas Christopher YatesThomas Christopher Yates

Laceyville Fire Chief Brad Fassett said Sunday afternoon that firefighters Bob Voda and Paul Leatso launched the fire company’s boat early Sunday morning and conducted a brief search in the darkness, but called it off due to the dangerous, rain-swollen and rapidly-rising river and the abundance of debris in the water. Fassett said the dive team did not enter the water.

Yates is said to have come to Laceyville to attend a memorial service for a local resident.

It is believed that some sort of altercation took place on the river bridge. The police investigation includes examining blood found on Church Street. Police set up a tent near the Laceyville Post office and cordoned off Church Street.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact Tunkhannock State Police at 570-836-2141.


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The Bridge is reopened at

The Bridge is reopened at 5:20PM

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