Search continues for missing Hancock County teen

NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. – Hancock County sheriff’s deputies, volunteer firefighters, volunteers and family members of Anthony “Tony” Pittman spread out over a wooded area early Thursday morning to continue looking for the missing teenager.

They didn’t find him, so the search continues.

“You have to follow up on every lead,” Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher said.

Pittman, 16, a student at Oak Glen High School, has been missing since May 29, when he didn’t show up for school. Posters asking for help in finding Pittman started going up the next day.

The posters say Pittman, who has brown hair and brown eyes, was last seen wearing a bright green T-shirt with a Rubik’s Cube on the front and dark gray pants.

Fletcher said deputies have been interviewing friends, fellow students, relatives and acquaintances of Pittman’s in the hopes of getting leads as to his whereabouts.

A meeting of concerned volunteers on Wednesday night led to Thursday’s coordinated search effort in a rural area just north of New Cumberland.

John Paul Jones, director of the Hancock County Office of Emergency Management, helped organize the effort by developing and distributing topographical maps of the search area.

“We had to decide where the search began and ended,” he said, noting that the search started on Globe Hill Road, where Pittman once lived, and expanded from there.

The search, which began at 7 a.m. Thursday, concentrated on an area south of Nessly Chapel United Methodist Church that was divided into five grids and included Rockyside Road and Ferndale Road.

Four teams of 10 were deployed, Fletcher said. They had to sign in and out and wear green armbands. The last team stayed out until about 4 p.m.

Assisting with the effort was a K-9 unit from the Northern Ohio Valley Area Search and Rescue – a black Labrador retriever named Jordan and its handler, Christina Nicholson.

Nicholson is certified as a Search and Rescue Technician III through the National Association for Search and Rescue, according to the NOVASAR website.

Pittman family members declined comment.