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Search Continues For Missing Fire Department Recruit

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Rodney Goggins
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Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The search intensifies for a missing Baltimore City fire recruit whose car was found abandoned near a county reservoir.

Mike Schuh has an exclusive look from onboard one of the search boats.

A cadaver-sniffing dog has joined the hunt for missing fire recruit Rodney Goggins.  His  family hasn’t seen the 20-year-old since Sunday night. Then Wednesday, there was the first clue.  His father and brother found his car along busy Liberty Road where it crosses the Liberty Reservoir.

“He would never, never leave us like this,” said his mother Tracey Goggins. “I just want my son back home safe. “

Thirty-seven divers wait to go into the deep cold water, but first they have to know where to go.  Out on the water, they’re using two different kinds of sonar.

“What they use when they start looking is what they call a gingerbread,” explained one diver. “Basically it looks like a gingerbread man laying on the bottom. But one of the things that we’re running into is, of course, the old bridge that was here.”  

Meantime, 57 Maryland State Police recruits combed the dense underbrush to search for clues.

Goggins is a Baltimore City firefighter recruit, which his mom says made him proud because he knew he could provide for his daughter.

His fellow firefighters felt the pressure to work the search scene.

“Because his car is here, that’s reason enough for us to engross our efforts in this area,” said Chief Kevin Cartwright, Baltimore City Fire.

Crews from several counties spent hours searching the area around the reservoir and in the water.  Baltimore County police are leading the investigation, but have few leads.

“It’s unknown at this time why he would be at the dam or if in fact he even drove to the dam,” said Lt. Robert McCullough, Baltimore County Police.

The Goggins family remains hopeful.

They say Goggins is such a nice young man, responsible and caring. He’s a football coach for a youth team. Some of his players even showed up to pass out some missing person flyers.

Police and fire crews say they will continue searching until they locate Goggins.

If  you have information about Goggins’ whereabouts, contact the Baltimore County Police Department (Woodlawn Precinct) at 410-887-1340 or contact your local police department by calling 911.

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