Vigil held for missing student after search expands to neighboring town

Plutis.com Mayo 17, 2017 0

FRANKLIN, Mass. — The search for a missing 20-year-old college student expanded Tuesday after police said a K-9 tracked his scent to nearby Bellingham.
Michael Doherty was reported missing Sunday by his parents when he failed to return home from a Saturday night gathering on Phyllis Street in Franklin.

For more than two days, crews, divers and helicopters have searched the woods and marshy area near Franklin’s Mine Brook near Interstate 495 and Maplegate Country Club.

Clothing and shoes were found during the search, but there is still no sign of Doherty.

“We found one article of clothing, a shoe and a shirt on (the) northern edge, and then we found another shoe on the southern edge (of the marsh),” Franklin police Deputy Chief Thomas Lynch said. “That helped us focus our search.”

Police said a bloodhound K-9 tracked Doherty’s scent to Maple Street in Bellingham, prompting police in that town to ask residents to check sheds and outbuildings for any sign that the 20-year-old had been on their property.

“We are asking people in the area to be on alert and check any sheds or detached buildings for signs of Michael Doherty,” Bellingham police told residents Tuesday afternoon in a reverse 911 call. “All signs indicate that he made it into Bellingham in the area of Pine and Maple streets.”

Franklin police said additional K-9 bloodhounds were being brought in to assist in the search.

Police said search crews include members of the Massachusetts Environmental Police and the Metro-LEC, a consortium of more than 45 local police departments and law enforcement agencies.

No foul play is suspected in the case.

WCVB-TV
Doherty, a 2015 graduate of Xaverian High School and a current Duke University student, was last seen at 1:30 a.m. in the Phyllis Lane area. Police said he had been attending a gathering with some friends.

Friends said he was completely coherent when he left the gathering on foot.

He was wearing a blue T-shirt with a Nike symbol, black pants and sneakers.

Doherty is a white male, 5 feet, 10 inches tall, with brown hair and brown eyes.

A reverse 911 call was initiated to residents in the area.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 508-528-1212.