Missing since November 11, 1985 from Robertsdale, Huntingdon County Classification: Endangered Missing
Date of Birth: July 30, 1921 Age at time of disappearance: 64 Height: 5'6" Weight: 185-190 lbs Haircolor: Auburn Dentals: he had his own teeth, no dentures Distinguishing characteristics: scars on face from a rare skin disease (Pemphigus/Valgarus) Medical Condition: High blood pressure controlled by medication Clothing: Camouflage coat with a green back, brown duck hunting pants, gray wool sweater, black rubber boots and a blue baseball cap. Other: He was carrying a Remington 870 pump action shotgun Nickname: Red
Circumstances of Disappearance
November 11, 1985 - Veteran's Day. It was a cool, rainy day when Emerson "Red" Carbaugh, of St Thomas, PA and his brother-in-law, Ralph Issett of Saxton, PA went turkey hunting in the mountains of Robertsdale. The men split up, each taking a different path through the woods. In late afternoon, Ralph emerged from the woods alone. He waited for a while but, with darkness quickly descending and thinking that perhaps Red had lost his way, Ralph fired 1/2 dozen rounds into the air. To no avail. His hunting partner was never seen again.
It was too dark to search that night, but that evening headquarters for the search were set up at the Robertsdale, Wood and Broad Top Fire Hall. Over the next 12 days the the PA State Police, personnel from the Federal Bureau of Mine Safety, the state Dept of Environmental Resources, Bureau of Forestry and state parks division, National Guard units, Huntingdon County Sheriff's Dept, Keystone Search & Rescue, Appalachian Search & Rescue, Civil Air Patrol and citizens and volunteers from Robertsdale, the R.W. & Bt Volunteer Fire Dept and the surrounding area combed the woods. Two types of search dogs were brought in. ATVs and Scuba divers were utilized. The Letterkenny Army Depot, using a helicopter specially equipped with heat-seeking devices searched from overhead. When the search ended on the twelfth day, over 1800 people had conducted exhaustive searches covering a 12-mile radius but nothing - not a hat, a gun - no trace of Red was ever found.
In 2004, Red Carbaugh's wife was contacted by someone claiming to have information about Red's fate. According to this informant, Red had been killed and buried on a farm in the Robertsdale area. The person also claimed to have dug up a bone on the farm which was turned over to the State Police at Huntingdon, along with the information the person possessed. The State Police turned the bone over to the PA DNA lab in Greensburg, but because the bone was too small - a fragment really - and too degraded, it was impossible to extract any DNA from it. Without more concrete evidence, there would be not be sufficient justification to excavate the property where the bone was retrieved.
Red Carbaugh's case has not been closed by Law Enforcement. As with all Cold Cases, this one is reviewed periodically, but without compelling information, the investigation is at a stand-still. PA State Police are willing to look into any viable leads that would help to locate Mr Carbaugh.
In 1992, seven years after Red disappeared, he was declared legally dead. His family held a memorial service for him but they are still waiting for answers. Red's daughter recently contacted the Doe Network, and myself as Doe Network's Area Director for Pennsylvania, in an effort to bring some much needed attention to this case. It is our hope, that by bringing this case back into the public eye, that someone will come forward with information that will help to give Red's family the closure they need and deserve.
Is Red Carbaugh still in the mountains? Was foul play involved? Could he have been moved to an area outside of the 12-mile radius that was searched so thoroughly?
If you have any information about this case, please contact:
Pennsylvania State Police Huntingdon Barracks Cpl Billy Brown 814-627-3161