Search continues for missing teen

NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. – Authorities are still looking for clues in the whereabouts of a New Cumberland teenager, who has been missing since late last week.

Family members of Anthony Pittman, a 16-year-old Oak Glen High School student, began posting pleas for his whereabouts to social media pages on Friday. Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher said Pittman’s family contacted his department when the youth failed to return home from school.

According to Fletcher, his department has been interviewing Pittman’s friends and classmates from Oak Glen, and taking statements. He says there have been a handful of sightings over the past few days, including one from a family member in Weirton, that have been looked into, but none have yet been confirmed.

“The information is really sketchy that’s been coming in,” Fletcher said on Monday. He also says attempts to “ping” Pittman’s cell phone have proved unsuccessful due to the phone either being turned off or having a dead battery.

Search areas have included a wooded area not far from the family’s home after authorities received word that Pittman may have been hiding out there. “We had gone up by foot and searched the area, and found where somebody had done some camping,” he said. However, there was nothing found at the camp site that could be directly traced to the teen.

“We’ve been trying to step up some of the methods to locate him,” said Fletcher. Those methods have grown to include a helicopter unit from the West Virginia State Police, who have joined sheriff’s deputies and personnel from the New Cumberland and Chester police departments in the search.

Pittman has brown hair and eyes, and was last seen wearing a bright green T-shirt with a Rubik’s cube on the front, a black hoodie and gray pants. Anyone who has information about his whereabouts is asked to call the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department at 304-564-4068 or Weirton Dispatch at 304-797-8555.

When contacted by phone Monday evening, a female identifying herself as Pittman’s aunt said the family will comment at a later time.