The search for a 20-year-old Duke University student who is still missing after leaving a late-night party last weekend is wrapping up its fifth day.
The search for Michael Doherty continued on Thursday in Franklin, Massachusetts, and neighboring Bellingham, while his parents hope for a miracle.
Dogs, state police and local police have all cleared the scene, but the district attorney's office said the plan is to continue to search at least through the weekend.
"We are desperately hoping Michael is going to come home," his mother, Nancy Doherty, said on Wednesday. "That's all we want. We are devastated, heartbroken... Our son was the love of our life. We're not sure what to do."
Franklin police said in a press release on Thursday that they have covered approximately a 1-mile radius from the location where Doherty was last seen. There are still areas in that radius that need further scrutiny, according to police.
The 2015 Xaverian Brothers High School graduate was last seen leaving a gathering of about 25 childhood friends on Phyllis Lane in Franklin at 1:30 a.m. Sunday. He had just returned home from college for summer break last week.
His parents reported him missing when he didn't return home from the party. His family said Doherty texted his brothers asking for a ride at 12:30 a.m., but they were already asleep. Doherty ultimately decided to walk roughly a mile to his home.
His cell phone last pinged near the intersection of Oak Street Extension and Schofield Road in Franklin at 1:08 Sunday. It's behind that intersection, down a railroad path, that one of his shoes and his T-shirt were found where the path meets Mine Brook.
The Massachusetts State Police Air Wing helicopter hovered just above the marshy area surrounding Mine Brook on Thursday, using thermal imaging between the path and the embankment leading up to the 14th hole of Maplegate Country Club, where Doherty’s second shoe was found.
Several people grabbed their own kayaks and canoes to help search this vast landscape on their lunch break, or after work.
“As much as you feel helpless, you still want to be here in case there is something else that you can provide," said Jim Killion of Wrentham. "There’s a strong sense just to get out here and help, and that’s why I’m here.”
Doherty was wearing a blue shirt with a Nike symbol along with black pants and sneakers when he disappeared. He is described as about 5'10" tall, with brown hair and eyes.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Franklin police at 508-528-1212.
There is no indication of foul play at this point.