BRENTWOOD, MO–(KMOX)–The father of a missing Brentwood teen is asking for the public’s help to find his son, saying he apparently ran away from home and crashed a family car in O’Fallon, Missouri.
Ted Heisel held a news conference at the Brentwood police station to distribute photos of his 15-year old son Sam Heisel, who left home sometime after midnight September 5th. The 2008 Honda Civic he was apparently driving was found crashed the next morning on Old Highway 79 at North Main.
“You know, like all teenagers, they have ups and downs and things of that sort,” Ted Heisel said, “He clearly doesn’t have a driver’s license. He has a driver’s permit. He clearly was trying to run away, get away from home, and he crashed his car in O’Fallon.”
Police in O’Fallon say they found the car at seven o’clock Tuesday morning. It had struck a light pole and ended up in a patch of woods, with the air bags deployed.
Police say there’s no evidence Heisel was hurt in the crash.
The area is hemmed with heavy woods–about four miles from the Mississippi River.
A search involving hundreds of volunteers, six police dogs and a drone with equipment to detect body heat failed to find the missing teen.
O’Fallon Police Captain John Neske says the police search of the area has been concluded.
“You could walk right by somebody in the woods, and they could be three feet from you and you’d never see them,” Neske said, “However, with that said, between the dogs, the Eureka Fire Department, their search and rescue team, the drone we had up, the officers with the volunteers, it has been thoroughly, thoroughly walked through.”
Brentwood Police Chief James McIntyre and the boy’s father declined to say whether he left a suicide note.
“Well, we’re not sure exactly in terms of what the mindset of Sam was at this point, but we’d rather just speak to simply that there is a crashed car and Sam is still missing,” McIntyre said.
Police say there has been no bank activity after the crash.
“Sam is a very athletic and smart kid,” his father said, “He was in the Boy Scouts for a while, so we’re all hopeful that he’s using his skills to survive, and who knows where he’s at.”
The father was asking volunteers to meet at the Hope Bible Church in O’Fallon to do more foot searching.
The father also thinks he may have left the immediate area, and he’s asking anyone who might see Sam to call police.
Police say they found the missing boy’s cell phone in the crashed car.
Chief McIntyre says they contacted the last person who was called on Sam Heisel’s phone, and that person told police “they’re not aware of his whereabouts.”
McIntyre says it’s not clear whether the last call was made before, or after the car crash.
Anyone with any information on his whereabouts is asked to call Brentwood Police at 644-7100 or call 91i.