Sep. 23—Police found no signs of a missing Freeport teenager one day after he was last spotted walking on the rural road near his home.
Theo Ferrara was last seen around 4:30 p.m. Thursday by drivers on Flying Point Road. He was walking northeast heading toward Brunswick. Police announced his disappearance Friday morning on social media.
Searchers from the Maine Warden Service, state police, Brunswick police and marine patrol joined the efforts Friday, Freeport Police Chief Nathaniel Goodman said. Police dogs located a scent near where Ferrara was last spotted, but the chief offered no further progress report on locating traces of the boy.
"His parents are distraught," Goodman said. "As we speak we're deeply, deeply involved in tracking down every possible connection or lead that we can. Our ears are open and we're listening to everybody."
Detectives are canvassing the neighborhood and interviewing his friends and relatives. Goodman did not know whether there had been any conflict or triggering event that may have led Ferrara to leave, and he did not have his cellphone with him at the time, which was not considered unusual for him.
Ferrara was last seen wearing a white windbreaker, a T-shirt, neon-colored shorts, flip-flops and was carrying a royal blue backpack. He is 5 feet, 7 inches tall, approximately 125 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes.
"People with ring cameras, surveillance cameras that are pointed out toward the road, we're asking people to check them, specifically yesterday between 4 and 9 pm to see if there's any footage of him," Goodman said, especially people who live between Flying Point Road and Brunswick.
Goodman asked drivers in that area to call police if they spot anyone matching his description. Officers planned to set up a temporary checkpoint during rush hour on Friday to ask drivers for leads and hand out fliers.
The Freeport school community responded by offering Ferrara's classmates at Freeport High School counseling services.
"Police and volunteers are currently organizing a search for this child," Principal Jen Gulko wrote in the email message. "We have additional counselors and social workers on site at FHS today to talk with any of our students who need support."
School officials also postponed the homecoming dance scheduled for Saturday night and canceled athletic games on Friday and Saturday morning as searchers continued their work, according to a second email message from Craig Sickels, the school's athletic director. A decision is pending on whether other matches and games will proceed later Saturday as scheduled.
The high school's football team is scheduled to play its homecoming game Saturday at 5 p.m., but it's not clear yet whether it will go forward as planned.
Goodman asked that members of the public refrain from entering the woods in the area where Ferrara went missing to allow police to continue their work, but he did not rule out asking for assistance later if police do not find Ferrara.
A group of students walked up to the police station Friday to see if they could help.
Roman Miller, 14, a friend of Ferrara's, said he wants to see his friend located safely.
"You can never rule anything out," Miller said. "It could be a mental health issue. I don't know. There's a number of possibilities. I really hope he's just trying to get out and clear his head."
Anyone with information about his whereabouts should call Freeport police at 207-865-4800.