If any of you are Facebook friends or followers then you've seen me post about this since just after Thanksgiving.
Please look at this young man's face. This missing persons case is deeply personal to me. Shane Montgomery is from my neighborhood. He grew up here, just like me, just like my husband, just like both of our families. His family lives one block over from where I've worked every day for the last decade, which is only blocks away from my home. In fact, they live only a few doors down from where my grandparents lived for decades. (My grandmother just sold the family home about 6 weeks ago).
|It was reported that this is the shirt he was wearing when he disappeared.|
He is 21 years old. He is a senior at West Chester University but he is from my neighborhood. He was home for Thanksgiving break. On Thanksgiving Eve, he and his cousin went out for the night, hitting some bars on Main Street in Manayunk. (Manayunk and my neighborhood, Roxborough are side by side, with Manayunk at the bottom of "the hill", closer to the river, but we're not talking about a huge area here). Anyway, he left Kildare's Pub at approximately 1:50 a.m. and seemingly vanished into thin air. A cell phone ping at 2:38 a.m. indicates that at that time he or at the very least, his phone, was still in this area (i.e. Manayunk/Roxborough). The case is extremely baffling on just about every level.
Philadelphia Police and the FBI are hard at work on this case--make no mistake. But so is my community. People in my amazing neighborhood have turned out in droves to help search, post and hand out fliers, share on social media and raise money to help this family search for their son.
There is a reward for reliable information leading to his whereabouts that is up to $65,000 as of today.
Look, my neighborhood--Roxborough/Manayunk--it is extremely tight-knit. Everyone knows everyone and if you don't know the person, you usually know of the person. (Don't even get me started on all the weird connections my husband and I had in terms of family and friends before we even met!) In fact, I did know of the Montgomery family and Shane's mother's family before this happened. They are decent, hard-working people who deserve answers as to what happened to their son. For those of us who live here, Shane Montgomery is "one of us" on such a fundamental level, that it is hard to put into words. I wake up every morning with this young man on my mind and I go to sleep every night thinking of him and his family--praying, praying, praying that the next time I turn on the television or the next time I go onto Facebook, there will be good news about him. If you live here, if you have roots here, then you've likely gone bar-hopping in your 20s on Main Street and walked home safely and without incident. We've all done it. It could have been anyone's son, brother, nephew, cousin. Any of us, really.
So I'm asking you to please look at Shane Montgomery's face. Even if you live nowhere near here, please look at his face. Yes, the search has focused primarily on this area but the bottom line is that we do not know what happened to him yet and because of that, no possibility can be ruled out. So please. Look at his face. Visit the website and the Facebook page. Share his photo. Pray.
Most importantly, if you see something or if you know something, say something.
If you live here or you were in the Manayunk area over Thanksgiving and you think you may have seen something, please come forward. If you were out and about in the Manayunk area, check your phone for all photographs you took on Thanksgiving Eve. There might be something useful in the background.
People do not vanish into thin air. If you read my books or you know me or you've followed my blog for any length of time, you know how passionately I feel about missing persons. This case hits home for me in a major way. People don't go poof and disappear forever. Someone knows something. Perhaps they don't even know that they know it. Or maybe they know exactly what happened but they're not speaking up. Maybe that someone or someones will never read this but if they do, I would like to say this:
This is not going to end until the Montgomery family gets the answers they deserve. This will not end until Shane is home. If you think for one moment that his family or this community will stop looking for him--stop looking for answers--you could not be more wrong. This will not die down or blow over. You better believe that when you see Karen Montgomery on the news saying that she will never, ever stop looking for Shane and that she will go to the ends of the earth, she means it. I know this because I am a mother too. I live here too. I am raising my child here too. A mother does not stop looking for her child. Ever. And as you can see by the fliers and green ribbons on damn near every tree and telephone pole in this neighborhood, and in the windows and on the doors of damn near every local business, the rest of this community will not stop either. So end this now. Pick up the phone and call the FBI. 215-418-4000. Do it right now.