WELDON, CA (August 8, 2015) The Salvation Army will resume feeding operations in support of the law enforcement personnel engaged in a massive manhunt in eastern Kern County, about two hours north of Los Angeles. At least eight agencies – from county Sheriff’s Departments to U.S. Marshalls – are staged near the community of Weldon and carefully searching a five-square mile area for a man suspected of murdering David Louis Markiewitz of Tehachapi and kidnapping three men near Jawbone Canyon.
Salvation Army volunteers from Lake Isabella and Mojave have been on scene with a Disaster Services Canteen (mobile kitchen) since Monday, at the request of American Red Cross, providing meals, snacks, fruit and drinks to search personnel staged at two locations. As the number of agencies involved in the search has increased, the number of meals served by the Salvation Army also increased from 100 to over 700 meals per day. As of Friday evening, a collective of 2,250 meals had been served by Salvation Army and Red Cross teams this week.
Today, American Red Cross will begin transitioning remaining operational responsibility to The Salvation Army. This means, The Salvation Army will assume responsibility for providing three meals per day and maintaining shelter/sleeping areas for search crews until the search operation ends. The 11-day search is required to move slowly, so officers can carefully search the rugged terrain, with abandoned mines, caves, rocks and sage brush. It is unknown how long it may take to locate and capture the suspect.
“It’s a privilege to be able to serve alongside the law enforcement agencies working to find the suspect and restore calm to the local towns in the area,” said John McKnight, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army’s Golden State Division. “Whether a natural disaster, manmade disaster, or even a horrible tragedy like the community of Weldon has experienced, The Salvation Army is committed to serving as long as needed.”
HOW THE PUBLIC CAN HELP:
Those who wish to financially support The Salvation Army’s emergency feeding operations in Weldon, CA may do so by sending a check earmarked “Weldon Response” to The Salvation Army, Attn: John McKnight, Disaster Services Director, 832 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA. 94107. Credit card donations can be made by calling 415-503-2748. Donations will help cover the $4,000 in food and drinks already supplied, and assist in providing meals until the search ends.
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