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Weeks after Williston man’s disappearance, wife still determined he can be found

WILLISTON, N.D. -- It's been more than three weeks since Zackary Baldwin disappeared while on a motorcycle ride, and Jessica Baldwin continues to search. She still has help from volunteers, but the numbers that turned out early this month to scou...

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It’s been more than three weeks since Zackary Baldwin, right, disappeared while on a motorcycle ride, and his wife Jessica Baldwin continues to search.

WILLISTON, N.D. -- It’s been more than three weeks since Zackary Baldwin disappeared while on a motorcycle ride, and Jessica Baldwin continues to search. She still has help from volunteers, but the numbers that turned out early this month to scour roadsides and rough terrain have dwindled.

Despite the time that’s passed, Baldwin remains determined to find her husband, and is convinced that he is somewhere close to their home about six miles west of Williston.

“The only thing I can think of is he crashed,” Jessica said. “He wouldn’t just leave his family, he’s very dedicated and motivated, there’s no way I think he would just disappear.”

Zackary left home early the evening of June 26 on a recently purchased Honda sports bike that he’d saved for a year to buy.

He asked his wife to keep an eye on the ribs he was smoking for their twin sons’ 11th birthday dinner, and said he would be back in about 30 minutes.

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“I hugged him and kissed him, and he never came home,” Jessica said on Monday.

Since then, ground, aerial and underwater searches led by local and regional law enforcement have turned up no sign of the father of three.

Attempts to track Zackary’s credit cards and cell phone have proved fruitless as well, according to the Williams County Sheriff’s Office, which is continuing to follow up on leads.

“Our deputies are still out there keeping their eyes open,” said Sgt. Detective Caleb Fry. He added that foul play is not suspected.

Last week, Dateline NBC featured Zackary’s story on its website feature titled “Missing in America.”

A non-profit search and rescue group arrived in Williston early this month to coordinate volunteer efforts, and managed to comb hundreds of miles with the help of people who walked and rode ATVs and horses through tall grass and other hidden areas along roads that Baldwin was known to ride on.

A handful of volunteers continues to press on, and is expanding the search from a 15-mile radius around the Baldwins’ house into neighboring McKenzie County, eastern Montana and New Town, N.D., said Sarah Syverson, senior vice president of United Legacy.

The group is now directing efforts remotely, primarily using social media, from its base in Minneapolis.

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“We’re still in daily contact with the family,” Syverson said.

Although the focus remains on areas near paved roads where an inexperienced rider such as her husband would likely ride, Jessica says she isn’t limiting her search.

“I just want the awareness out there, to keep looking,” she said. “I don’t want people to forget about him, he has three kids and me who miss him deeply. People love him, I don’t want him to be gone anymore, I want him to come home.”

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