Breakup with girlfriend may be behind Terrace Park teen's disappearance
Collin Barton last seen early Sunday morning
1:00 PM, Mar 19, 2012
12:44 PM, Mar 20, 2012
TERRACE PARK, Ohio - The parents of a missing Terrace Park teenager said Monday a breakup with a girlfriend may be one of the reasons behind his disappearance.
Collin Barton, 16, was last seen early Sunday at a house party on Cambridge Avenue in Madison Place. He said he was going to walk several miles to his residence on Home Street in Terrace Park, but wasn't seen again.
"He was upset about a breakup and said he was walking home to Terrace Park to admit what he has done (lied about where he was). He was very upset with himself," Sean Barton, Collin's father, said in statement.
Barton asked that anyone driving East along Route 50 (Wooster Pike) between Mariemont and Terrace Park and who saw the teenager early Sunday to call Terrace Park Police at (513) 831-2137.
One of the Bartons' neighbors, Steve Early, was acting as a Barton family spokesperson on Monday. He said he and others posted flyers all over Mariemont, Columbia Township and Terrace Park giving Collin's description.
The teenager is six-feet tall, weighs 125 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a green t-shirt and blue jeans.
"Collin is a great kid. Great artist. Fun, easy-going attitude. We all love him," Early said. "Everybody in the neighborhood knows him. We're just really feeling it. Everybody's out looking for him."
Catherine Lennon was among them. The Anderson Township mother of two boys was bicycling on the Little Miami Trail at mid-day during her lunch hour when she saw one of the posters.
Since she works in social media, marketing and public relations, Lennon went right to work.
"I took a picture of Collin's posters, posted it, Tweeted it and did it on LinkedIn also. Somebody might have some information, so it's a way to get the word out there," Lennon said.
Terrace Park Police Chief Jerry Hayhow called in the Hamilton County Urban Search and Rescue Team to search for Collin after his cell phone was "pinged" in the Bass Island area of the Little Miami River near Newtown Road.
"We don't know that he was here. His phone was pinged here," said Chief Hayhow. "This is the lead that we have."
Four teams of searchers scoured two miles of both banks of the Little Miami River. Boats were launched to examine an island between Terrace Park and Anderson Township. A Hamilton County Sheriff's Office helicopter got a bird's eye view of things from the air.
USAR's Chief Operating Officer, Madeira-Indian Hill Fire Chief Steve Ashbrock, said the search is exactly the kind of job that matches the team's training.
"Because of the terrain and because of the inability to use any normal searcher to cover that type of terrain, the USAR task force was requested to see if we can find him or find any clues," Ashbrock said.
Both Chief Hayhow and Early said it was unusual for Collin to not check in with his parents.
"You worry," said the chief. "Make sure he's all right. That's our priority -- be able to find him."
Early said walking to Terrace Park from Madison Place isn't unheard of, but it's crazy and baffling that Collin walked out the front door and disappeared.
"The family is doing the best it can," he added. "They're obviously just devastated with worry over it, but just being positive that getting the word out -- getting the picture out -- will get the information out that will help find him."
Volunteers have been calling the Terrace Park Village Hall asking how they can help. However, Chief Hayhow said for now he's letting the professionals handle the searching.
People supported the Barton family by attending a prayer service Monday evening at the Village Green Gazebo on Elm Street in Terrace Park.