Possible sightings give hope to families of missing teens
Thu, 18 Oct 2012 22:16:53 GMT —
It was another day of searching in Horry County for two missing North Carolina teenagers. Searchers followed up on possible sightings, but friends and family are still stumped about what happened to Jake Ziegler, 18, and Ray Pierce, 17, of Catawba County.
The boys told friends after a party early Saturday they were headed to Myrtle Beach. Their last contact with anyone was a text message at about 2:45 a.m. Saturday, near Rock Hill.
With a Conway motel as headquarters, more than a hundred volunteers scattered in all directions Thursday.
Amber Caswell of Conway used a day off from work to help search along Highway 378 west of Conway, looking for places where the boys' car might have veered off the road and out of sight.
"More wooded areas, more places with ditches than anything," Caswell said. "Big dropoffs, water."
The search has been centered around Conway, since psychics told the family that's where the boys got into a crash.
Tips of possible sightings of the boys have come in, including several from local gas station employees and one from a clerk at a Belk store in Horry County.
The families say they're turning all those tips over to police to investigate, though Horry County police say they haven't been called to the store.
Family members say they are still working under the assumption the boys got into an accident somewhere along the way, but they now think there could be a chance that they did make it to the beach.
"Based on the fact that the sighting at Belk and the gas station attendants," said Jackie Ziegler, Jake's sister.
The chance that the boys made it to Myrtle Beach led volunteers to drop off fliers at businesses on Ocean Boulevard..
"I just ask them, 'Would you mind hanging this flier up in your store or keeping it by your register where people will see it if they come by?' " said Chelsea Medlin of Charlotte, who took a day off from work to aid in the search.
Two days before they left, one of the boys sent a tweet to a friend that said something about going to get lost at the beach.
"So that leads me to believe I have to check every single street in this state, and I will do so until he comes home," said Ziegler.
Ziegler says the response of the community has been incredible and she has nothing but thanks for volunteers.