Updated Fri, Apr 11, 2014 11:51 am
The parents of a missing 21-year-old from Athens are intensifying their search for their son with the creation of a Facebook page, new fliers to be disseminated and possibly the employment of a private investigator.
On March 13, Sam Wiater went missing from his North Lancaster Street home. His mother, Trina, reported to police that her son was missing and endangered. Based on conversations between Sam Wiater and his girlfriend, and between Wiater and his mother, police had reason to believe that Wiater may have intended to commit suicide in the Hocking River.
His car was discovered near the river, parked by the bike path on Currier Street in Athens, but extensive searches of the river and surrounding area turned up no evidence of Wiater.
Trina Wiater and her husband, Jeff, are holding on to the belief that their son is alive and in hiding. They just want him to come home.
Monday, a Facebook page entitled “Bring Sam Wiater Home” was created and, as of Thursday morning, had more than 800 “likes.”
On the page, Trina Wiater wrote a lengthy post detailing the events surrounding her son’s disappearance. She said she received a call from him at 8:43 p.m. on March 13 and he was in a panic. When asked if he needed her to come to Athens, Sam told his mother, “Yes.”
Trina Wiater and her son Josh arrived at Sam’s apartment at around 10 p.m., but he was not there. They tried using location technology to find him through his cell phone, but the phone had been left in the apartment. One of Sam’s roommates allegedly told Trina that Sam was upset and was going to the river to die. The roommate was unable to stop Sam from leaving, but did follow him and found his car with the keys left in the ignition.
Trina and others searched for Sam without luck and she called police.
That night and the next day, boats were put in the water, helicopters were called in and search parties were formed, but the searches detected no signs of Sam.
Trina posted that Sam’s bank accounts are being monitored and no activity has been recorded.
“So what do we believe? Obviously, he isn’t in the river,” Trina posted. “We wholeheartedly believe that Sam is hiding. This situation would cause anyone to feel afraid. Sam is not in any legal trouble.”
On Tuesday, Trina posted on the page again, this time detailing a conversation she had with officers with the Athens Police Department. According to the post, officers have tried calling frequently used numbers on Sam’s phone, but no solid leads were developed. When asked what she could do to help further, Trina wrote she was complimented on her efforts thus far and was given the suggestion to hire a private investigator.
Trina said in the post that the family cannot afford a private investigator and asked the public for help raising the funds. She also mentioned that new, laminated fliers were being made to be distributed in and around Athens. Volunteers are gathering Saturday at 2 p.m. in the parking lot of the Church of the Good Shepherd at 64 University Terrace to help put up the fliers.
Those wishing to donate to help fund a private investigator can do so by mail to 714 Preston Trails Drive, Pickerington Ohio, 43147, with “Search for Sam” as the title.
Anyone with information concerning Sam Wiater’s whereabouts can call the Athens Police Department at 593-6606 or Crime Solvers Anonymous at 594-3331.