Albemarle County police were searching the Greenwood area late into the evening Thursday for a man they described as mentally unstable and carrying a firearm.
Authorities had not found the man, who they said presented a threat to himself but likely not others, by press time Thursday evening.
A shelter-in-place warning for a 3-mile, and later a 4-mile, radius surrounding the property at 1041 Greenwood Road, ultimately stretching from Crozet in the east to McCormick Gap Overlook on Skyline Drive in the west, was in effect from 2:52 p.m. until 8:40 p.m.
At that time the emergency custody order that gave police the authority to detain the man expired.
Police said they were contacted by the family of 23-year-old Dylan Gregory Harvey and arrived on the scene at Greenwood Road at 1:46 p.m. on Thursday.
County police spokeswoman Abbey Stumpf said authorities were in touch with both Harvey and his family.
“He was speaking with ACPD officers when they were first dispatched to Greenwood Road. They were speaking with him via phone,” Stumpf said at a briefing at the Crozet Volunteer Fire Department on Three Notched Road.
She said the police department had lost contact with Harvey after speaking with him.
Harvey was believed to be experiencing a “mental health crisis” and was known to be carrying a firearm, according to police.
“We know that he’s armed. We have not heard any shots fired,” Stumpf said. “At this point he’s considered a threat to himself, but that’s serious. We want this to end peacefully and safely for Mr. Harvey.”
Stumpf said that multiple search efforts were underway on Thursday as officers combed the largely wooded and rural area of Greenwood.
“We are using drones. We have our drone team from Albemarle County Fire Rescue. The fire marshal’s office is out helping. They are searching key locations that might matter to Mr. Harvey. They’re also using K-9s to track his scent in the woods,” Stumpf said. “But it’s a primarily wooded area, so it’s a lot of foot searching at this point.”
Residents in the Greenwood Road area were being urged Thursday afternoon to shelter in place.
“Shelter in place means it is likely more safe inside and please be alert for any suspicious or unusual activity,” Stumpf said.
She added that anyone with any information on Harvey’s whereabouts or anyone who had seen Harvey is encouraged to call 911.
“Don’t approach him. Call 911 immediately,” Stumpf said.
Earlier in the day, Albemarle County police had issued a shelter-in-place warning for a 3-mile radius surrounding the Greenwood property at 2:52 p.m. That was expanded later in the afternoon as police said they reassessed the situation.
“There’s a lot of variables when we consider what the radius is,” Stumpf said. “Part of this is using pinging the location of cell phones, but it’s wooded and it’s rural so we decided to expand it out of an abundance of caution.”
Stumpf said that it remains the hope of the police and Harvey’s family that he will come home.
“We would hope that he would just call, that he would come home,” she said.
Daily Progress reporter Sydney Shuler contributed to this story.