Maine Authorities Ask Public for Help Finding Parents and Child Who Went Missing 3 Weeks Ago

·4 min read
Jill Sidebotham, Lydia Hansen, Nicholas Hansen
Jill Sidebotham, Lydia Hansen, Nicholas Hansen

Sanford Maine Police Department/Facebook Jill Sidebotham and Lydia Hansen in security footage from Coos Canyon Campground

Maine police are asking the public for help as they attempt to locate two parents and a child who went missing after a camping trip three weeks ago.

The Sanford Police Department is looking for Jill Sidebotham, Nicholas Hansen and their daughter Lydia Hansen, 2, who were reported missing on July 2.

The trio was expected to return home on June 30, but friends and family said they had "not heard from them" after they were last seen by the Sidebotham family on June 27, according to a pair of news releases shared on Facebook.

Police said Jill, Lydia and Nicholas were last seen at 4 p.m. on July 2 at the Walmart in Mexico, Maine.

The missing individuals were last seen operating a silver 2005 VW Jetta ME with the license plate number "1563VJ," officials said.

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"We're trying to find them no matter what. We're following up on any information we get," Lieutenant Matthew Gagne said, per NBC affiliate WCSH. "We don't want to jump to conclusions as to what it is because we just don't know."

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Ron Sidebotham, Jill's father, said Nicholas made an impromptu visit to the Sanford home Jill and Lydia shared with Ron and his wife Cottie on June 27 and requested Nicholas' former girlfriend and daughter join him on the trip, per The Boston Globe.

"My wife said she tried to stop her, but [Jill] said it would be fine," he recalled in the interview.

Jill was supposed to return from the trip three days later, and had plans to have her 10-year-old son stay with her for the weekend, Ron told the Globe. But by July 2, she still had not been seen.

"She worships [her son], and it's just not like her to not show up, especially without mentioning anything," he explained.

Jill Sidebotham, Lydia Hansen, Nicholas Hansen
Jill Sidebotham, Lydia Hansen, Nicholas Hansen

Sanford Maine Police Department/Facebook Nicholas Hansen daughter Lydia Hansen seen in security footage from Coos Canyon Campground

Jill's family reported the trio missing that same day, according to the SPD.

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Reta Lyman, Jill's oldest sister, told WCSH that Jill last contacted her family on June 28.

Gagne said Jill's cell phone has not been active since that date, and that Nicholas' has been inactive since June 29, per the Globe.

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Corey Alexander, Jill's fiancé, told the outlet that he is "devastated," as Jill has not answered his attempts to reach her.

"It's tearing me apart," said the 31-year-old Sanford man, who said he has dated his fiancée for three years.

Jill Sidebotham, Lydia Hansen, Nicholas Hansen
Jill Sidebotham, Lydia Hansen, Nicholas Hansen

Sanford Maine Police Department/Facebook Jill Sidebotham and Lydia Hansen in security footage from Coos Canyon Campground

Police have confirmed that Jill, Lydia and Nicholas were spotted at Coos Canyon Campground in Byron on June 29, three days before their last sighting, according to a news release shared Monday on Facebook. The release included photos from the campground's security footage, which shows the trio on the property.

Gagne told the Globe that the footage, which shows Jill and Nicholas standing in a checkout line with Lydia in a nearby shopping cart, did not seem worrisome to police.

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"They were buying food items, and there did not appear to be anything nefarious or criminal," Gagne said, before adding, "we cannot verify their state without seeing them."

The trio was also seen buying food at the Walmart where they were seen at on July 2, per the Globe. The Walmart is located about 15 miles south of where the three went camping the weekend before their disappearance.

Detectives have visited Mexico to continue following leads and "verify surveillance footage," the SPD reported in its latest news release.

There is currently "no indication" that Jill, Lydia and Nicholas are "in danger," the SPD said Monday. An investigation into their disappearance is ongoing.

Anyone who has spotted the silver 2005 VW Jetta described by police is asked to contact Sanford police.

"I want [Jill and Lydia] home," Alexander told the Globe. "I want them home so we can get married. I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I love her more than anything."