Vigil held for missing Franklin man as search continues

FRANKLIN, Mass. (WHDH) — Friends and family gathered Tuesday evening for a vigil to show support for the family of a missing Franklin man.

The vigil was held after earlier in the day, police uncovered possible clues in 20-year-old Michael Doherty’s disappearance and expanded their search.

The search was expanded to a nearby Bellingham neighborhood after a K9 tracked the scent of Michael Doherty to the area of Pine and Maple streets. Residents in the area are asked to search their sheds and outbuildings.

Police said Doherty’s parents reported Sunday that their son had not returned home the previous night. Doherty, an engineering student at Duke University, was last seen at around 1 a.m. on Sunday in the area of Phyllis Lane in Franklin.

Police said Doherty had been attending a party with friends. Doherty’s friends said they tried to get him to spend the night but he instead insisted on walking to his home, which is about a half mile away. There is no real path in the woods where Doherty is suspected to have gone missing but friends believe he may have thought he could carve out a shortcut to his home.

More than two days later, officials said they found a shirt and a sneaker at the edge of a swampy marsh.

Officers spent hours on Sunday and Monday searching the woods, concentrating their efforts near bodies of water. The search was suspended Monday evening. It resumed Tuesday morning for a third day, with a larger search crew and two dive teams.

Doherty was last seen wearing a blue t-shirt with a Nike symbol, black pants and sneakers. He is a white male, stands 5 feet 10 inches tall and has brown hair and brown eyes.

Police have asked people in the area to be on alert and to check any sheds or detached buildings for signs of Doherty. A reverse 911 call was sent out to people in the area, which provided them with a description of Doherty.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the Franklin or Bellingham police.

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