Abandoned vehicle sparks search for missing man

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Police searched the woods around the High Rock shooting range in the Naugatuck State Forest over the weekend for signs of 50-year-old Richard Roncarti, a Watertown resident who was staying with his mother in Waterbury. Roncarti’s pickup truck was found abandoned at the range. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

NAUGATUCK — State police and officials from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection spent the weekend searching the Naugatuck State Forest for a missing man.

Capt. Chris Corbett, Waterbury Police Department spokesman, said 50-year-old Richard Roncarti, a Watertown resident who was staying with his mother in Waterbury, was reported missing late Thursday night. He was last seen at his mother’s home on Midland Road in Waterbury. The family was concerned because Roncarti was depressed, Corbett said.

On Saturday, Roncarti’s 2006 Chevy Silverado pickup was found in the parking lot of the High Rock shooting range, which is located in the Naugatuck State Forest off of Hunters Mountain Road. The truck had been parked there for a couple of days and members of the range called police.

DEEP spokesman Dennis Schain said department officials and state police, including officers from Beacon Falls and Oxford, searched the forest around the range with ATVs Saturday and Sunday but nothing was found, Schain said.

The High Rock Shooting Association was forced to cancel a National Take Your Daughter to the Range Day event Saturday as police conducted the search.

Corbett said the case remains open.

“We do not think he was the victim of foul play, but we are concerned for the safety of his wellbeing,” Corbett said.

Anyone with information on Roncarti’s whereabouts is asked to call (203) 574-6941.