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Search continues for Duke student reported missing near Massachusetts home

UPDATE: On Thursday, Franklin Police Deputy Chief James Mill said the search had covered an area with a radius of over one mile so far, according to a CBS Boston report

Also on Thursday, Doherty’s computer was checked by Homeland Security for any signs that he had planned to run away. However, the current investigation points to him likely being unintentionally missing on his way home.

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By / The Chronicle

Junior Michael Doherty was reported missing last Sunday.

Original story:

A Duke student has been reported missing near his Franklin, Mass. home. 

Michael Doherty, a rising junior in the Pratt School of Engineering, was last seen more than 16 hours ago. On campus, Doherty is a member of ATO. Local police have been searching neighborhoods in the community and are urging local residents to check their properties. 

Last reported with a gathering of friends at about 1:30 a.m., Doherty was wearing a blue t-shirt with a Nike symbol, black pants and sneakers. A press release from the Franklin Police Department notes that he is 5 feet 10 inches tall with brown hair and brown eyes. 

report from WBZ-TV indicates that Doherty's shirt and shoe were found in an area now being searched. State police are also reportedly using a helicopter and boats to search a swampy area near his neighborhood. The report notes that Doherty was leaving a party late Saturday night to walk a mile home when he was last seen. He was possibly attempting to take a shortcut home. 

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By Bill McCarthy / The Chronicle

A candlelight vigil was held Tuesday night in Franklin, Mass. to support Doherty and his family.

A second shoe was found on a nearby golf course Monday. Using dogs, the police went through the woods, through a nearby golf course and into Bellingham, a nearby town. According to a CBS Boston report, Franklin police detectives have interviewed more than 30 people who were at the party. 

On Tuesday night, there was a candlelight vigil to support Doherty and his family. 

Wednesday, Doherty's parents spoke with local reporters, noting that they were "devastated" and "heartbroken." His mother told reporters that Doherty—whom she called smart, respectful and funny—had wanted to come to Duke since early in high school and had secured a position as captain of the club hockey team next year. 

Crews continued to comb the swampy region Wednesday. Authorities do not suspect foul play, according to The Boston Globe

Several Duke students have launched a Reddit campaign to help recruit volunteers from the Boston area to aid in the search. A post in the All Duke Facebook group asks students to "upvote" the link on the social networking site to increase its visibility. 

Rising senior John Clarke, president of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity chapter at Duke, said he drove up Monday morning from his home in Connecticut to support the search efforts with a couple of local friends. He added that at least three helicopters and controlled drones were being used to aid the search. 

Clarke said Tuesday night that the Duke community and anyone else interested in helping should spread awareness of what's happening.

If you have any information about Doherty's whereabouts, please contact the Franklin Police Department at (508) 528-1212.

Check back for updates to this developing story. 

Editor's note: This story was updated at 1:30 a.m. Friday with the updates about the search. 


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