I did a wee bit of digging regarding the wetland area in Lewisburg. There has been some speculation on this thread that this area has never been searched and it should have been because of the closeness to where RG car was found. This is not in-depth information but is a good starting point for anyone else who wants to pursue the idea more thoroughly.
The Montandon Wetlands in the Lewisburg Area
Location: Rt 45, 0.3 miles east of Lewisburg Bridge and Route 405, Montandon, PA
The Biology Department at Bucknell is involved in research and study of these wetlands.
There is a study: Montandon Marsh: A vegetation Description of a Potentially Endangered Wetland
(only 8 pages of this paper is on-line) found in the Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science 70(1):2-29, 1996
that has information on the make-up the area and a sketch of the vegetation (see Figure 1) [Page 25 of study: Page 4 of pdf] in the area.
According to this portion of the study (done in 1991) [Page 25 of study: Page 4 of pdf.] Construction Engineering, Inc., of Millvile PA was the one who did surveys of the sampling area and elevations done at the time were to determine water levels. What shows on-line has some elevations on it but this is not my area of expertise so I am not going to attempt to interpret. [Page 28 of Study: Page 6 of pdf]
Under Management and Mitigation [ Page 29 of Study: Page 7 of pdf.], it mentions that gravel mining near the wetlands is scheduled to begin with the next year or two and that a series of smaller ponds or a lake totaling approximately 30 –ha in surface area and up to 9 meters deep will be created by the mining.
If this study was printed in 1996, than by 2005 there would have been ponds that were about 30 foot deep within the wetlands that could very well be a place for a body to be. (if all plans concerning mining stayed on schedule)
There may be more recent studies that have been done, but I did not find anything else on-line.
Over all, I think with direction from knowledgeable people, this area could be safely searched. The question is could remains actually be found after 9 years. Without a working knowledge of how quickly an environment such at this changes; rate of vegetation, build up of bog depth, water table changes, etc. that would hinder finding anything without needing to destroy the eco system to do so, is something that would need to be looked into.
From looking at this website http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/brh010/
There have been many different programs that have been run over the years by the Environmental Center at Bucknell, so it looks like there are probably a good number of former students and even area residents that would have rudimentary knowledge of the wetlands and some with extensive knowledge. The director of Susquehanna River Initiative at Bucknell University Environmental Center would be the person in my opinion to contact for information. He has been taking students and groups of interested residents on tours of the area for years.
This site: http://conserveland.org/stories/montandonmarsh
Has general information, and includes some limited information about property holdings within the wetlands by Central Builders Supply Company (gravel and sand pits) so there is the potential for easy access to dispose of a body or provide a place that one could self-hide his/her body, but without an actual map I can’t tell exactly what this company owns and what are the access points to the mining areas/the wetlands.
It does appear that there is genuine interest by the owner in being a good steward to the environment so if there is private property issue for a search, they may be open to the idea.
There has been some discussion, if this was a walk away, how would RG actually leave the Lewisburg area without a witness seeing him.
Not sure if this would even been a viable way for RG to leave Lewisburg but thought I would include the 9.2 mile Buffalo Valley Rail Trail - West Branch (formally Lewisburg and Tyrone line) which is the old rail line that basically follows old Rt. 45 from Lewisburg to Mifflinburg. Today it is designated as an easy trail to walk. In 2005 that would not necessarily be the case. It was abandoned as a rail line in 1997 and apparently in 1999 after Hurricane Floyd is was deemed impassable as a rail line. This trail was not open to the public until 2011 but the rail bed was being looked at as a possible walking trail back in 2001. Mifflinburg Heritage and Revitalization Association and Union County and the Recreation Authority were the organizations that were initially involved in this plan, with Bucknell coming in later with some help with land easements.
and Lewisburg and Tyrone Railroad - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I have also noticed there seems to be a few things showing up on-line about possible active rail lines still running through Lewisburg in 2005. Trying to find the end of the string to untangle anything to do with rail road’s can be a lesson in insanity. It seems, so far as I have been able to find, that Union County Industrial Railroad; part of North Shore system, was active in 2005 but I am not having much success in finding out exactly where those line went, time tables or stop locations at least on-line.
There was also an active rail line in Lewiston; it appears that it ran between there, Selinsgrove and Maitland. Again, details are hard to come by.
Someone who is into railroads in the area would have a much better idea as to what lines actually were working, and where the stops would have been at be able to determine if someone could access a one and where they could have gone. It would not matter if they were actual passenger lines, because if someone could get into a box car right in Lewisburg (and not be discovered) they could be hundreds of miles away in a very short time without ever being seen and with no paper trail or witnesses.