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Maine Teacher Disappears in Perplexing Case

Kristin Westra vanished overnight
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2018 1:54 AM CDT
Kristin Westra.   (Cumberland County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – Authorities in Maine are perplexed by the disappearance of Kristin Westra, an elementary school teacher who disappeared from her North Yarmouth home Sunday night or early Monday morning. Jay Westra, the 47-year-old's husband, says he woke up at around 3:30am Monday and discovered his wife had gone, leaving her car, keys, and phone behind, NBC reports. Westra has a 9-year-old daughter and a 17-year-old stepson. Brother Eric Rohrbach says that while his sister was under an unusual amount of stress amid major renovations to both her home and workplace, she has no history of mental health diagnoses and did not use medication that could cause sleepwalking, the Portland Press Herald reports.

"It's incredibly surreal. It’s something out of a nightmare," Rohrbach says. Jay Westra says he believes his wife was wearing either running shoes or flip-flops when she left the home. He says she had trained for many marathons, though he doubts she would have gone for a run so early in the morning. When asked by People if foul play was suspected, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Capt. Scott Stewart said: "We're not leaning in that direction," though he added that he couldn't rule it out. The Westra home is on the edge of a densely wooded area. Authorities say dozens of searchers using dogs, ATVs, and drones have been searching terrain in the area including wetlands, forest, and fields, but no trace of Westra has been found. (Read more Maine stories.)

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