Search ongoing for missing college student from MA


FRANKLIN, Mass. (WPRI) — For a third day Tuesday, Franklin Police headed up a coalition of searchers from multiple local law enforcement departments combing wooded and marshy areas near a neighborhood where Michael Doherty, 20, was last seen.

Starting at 5:30 a.m., dive teams entered a swamp near Maplegate Golf Course, drones and helicopters took to the air to search from aloft, and officers with dogs combed the woods looking for the missing Duke University student. Searchers include members of the Massachusetts Environmental Police and the “MetroLEC,” a consortium of more than 45 law enforcement agencies around Boston.

Doherty had left friends at a party at a home on Phyllis Lane about 1:30 a.m. Sunday in order to go home to Catherine Avenue, about a mile away from the party. He had been home on summer break. Police detectives are interviewing people who’d been with Michael that night for any details or clues to his disappearance.

So far, Franklin Police Deputy Chief Thomas Lynch said Tuesday morning they had found a shoe and a shirt, then a second shoe, which is helping them focus their search. They do not suspect foul play.

Tuesday night, the Franklin community organized a vigil in honor of Doherty.

“Michael just has an infectious smile,” Maria Cole, one of the vigil organizers, said. “He is a great kid.”

Friends said Doherty is a Mechanical Engineering major at Duke University. He just came home for summer break last week.

“They [his family] are just all together. They are a strong family,” Cole said. “They are just trying to make sure he comes home.”

The young man is described as 5′ 10″, caucasian, with brown hair and brown eyes, and was last seen wearing a blue Nike T-shirt, black pants, and sneakers.

Police are advising residents in the neighborhood to check outside and around their homes, including inside or near any sheds or outbuildings. They ask anyone who has seen Doherty to call them immediately at (508) 528-1212.

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