http://www.rutlandherald.com/Family continues search for missing man
May 26, 2005
By Alan J. Keays Herald Staff
William "Mike" Hogan enjoys writing, playing volleyball and listening to the music of the rock band Pearl Jam.
His family is asking for the public's help in finding the 29-year-old Rutland man who has been mysteriously missing for more than a week.
"He's never done anything like this before," said Sandra Hopkins, Hogan's mother, who recently traveled from Bel Air, Md., to the Rutland area to help find her son. "He is a very gentle person. He's just a sweet guy."
"And vulnerable right now," added Julie Givens, Hopkins' niece and Hogan's cousin, who also traveled from Maryland to Vermont to assist in the search.
Hopkins said her son had been at the Spring Lake Ranch residential treatment facility in Cuttingsville as he battled an obsessive-compulsive disorder that left him at times feeling extreme anxiety and distress.
"His life is very hard every day," Hogan's mother said, adding that her son had been making good progress at the ranch where he had stayed for about a year before moving to Rutland about two months ago.
"On (May 16), as part of his after-care, he went to the ranch to work," Hopkins said. "He was up there working and he worked in the morning and he didn't show up for lunch."
He was reported missing to Vermont State Police later that day when he failed to show up to take a bus back from the ranch to Rutland.
State Police patrolled the Cuttingsville area through the night in an attempt to locate him. Starting with the break of light on May 17, State Police organized teams totaling about 30 searchers to go to the thick woods off Spring Lake Road to try to find Hogan.
Search teams combed through the large wooded area on both sides of the steep road off Route 103 trying unsuccessfully to locate Hogan.
Police have said there is no evidence of foul play in Hogan's disappearance.
State Police Lt. Donald Patch said Wednesday that authorities are continuing to follow up leads in their search for Hogan.
He hasn't had his medication since May 16, Givens said. "That would make him very anxious and frightened â€¦ without his medication he isn't feeling safe."
Hopkins said her son did not have a vehicle, but he did have a driver's license.
"His goal was to a get a job and a car," Hopkins said.
She said her son enjoys writing and outdoor sporting activities, such as volleyball and basketball. He listened to music, too.
"He liked Pearl Jam and REM," Givens said.
Hopkins said she last spoke to her son May 14, two days before he disappeared. He seemed in good spirits and they were firming up plans to have him travel to Maryland the first week of June to attend the high school graduation of his brother.
That's what makes his disappearance all the more puzzling.
Hopkins and Givens said they have no idea what has happened to Hogan, but they believe he is alive somewhere.
"My sense is that he feels he really messed up and he's afraid he's lost everything he worked for. That's not true. People love him," Hopkins said. "There are so many people that care and really love him and want to help him."
Hopkins did say she has received a couple of unusual phone calls at her home in Maryland. One came on Monday afternoon before her son had been reported missing to State Police. In that call, Hopkins said, all she heard was someone breathing and then the person hung up the other line.
Then on Tuesday, she received another phone call and she said she could hear son's voice on the other line, but it didn't sound like he was talking to her. Instead, it sounded like he was talking to someone else and she was listening in on the conversation.
"He was saying, 'I have some friends I can stay with in College Park,'" Hopkins recalled, and then the phone on the other line hung up.
College Park is home to the University of Maryland. Even though her son lived in Maryland before going to Spring Lake Ranch, it was not likely he had any friends he could be staying with in the College Park area, Hopkins said.
One possible explanation for her son to say what Hopkins overheard him saying on the phone was that he was disorientated and not thinking straight, she said.
Authorities were not able to trace the phone calls.
Hopkins and Givens said in Vermont they have met with authorities searching for Hogan, talked to people who knew him, and going to places he was known to frequent in their attempt to find him.
Authorities in Maryland have also been alerted.
Since he didn't have a vehicle, many of Hogan's favorite places in Rutland were within walking distance from his home on Royce Street, like the Coffee Exchange, the movie theater at the Rutland Shopping Plaza, and Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop on South Main Street.
Hopkins and Givens said they are not sure when they will return to Maryland.
"It's hard to go home without having found him," Givens said.
Hogan is 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 190 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing khaki pants and t-shirt. Police said he may be wearing a red fleece vest.
Anyone who may have seen Hogan is asked to call State Police at 773-9101