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Search is on for missing New Cumberland teen

Updated: Thursday, June 5 2014, 12:33 PM EDT
HANCOCK COUNTY, W.Va. -- Dozens of people took to the high grass and wooded areas in New Cumberland on Thursday, searching for a boy who has been missing for a week -- 16-year-old Tony Pittman.
Emergency crews, people from the community and even family members - a group that totaled nearly 50 searchers -- gathered at the New Cumberland Fire Department, which acted as a command post. On hand were members of the Hancock County Sheriff's Office, New Cumberland and New Manchester Police Departments and several volunteer fire departments.
Everyone wanted to help with this search.
"Well my granddaughter was a schoolmate, (they're the) same age and she's devastated," said concerned citizen John Brion, who aided in the search. "We got to talking about it, so we said we'd come down and see what we can do. We can't do the hiking, but we're here to help in any way we can -- if it's pouring coffee or whatever."
Others headed out looking for anything, something a small as a cell phone or possibly a pink backpack Pittman reportedly had with him.
"We're looking at this as someone who doesn't want to be found," Hancock County Sherriff Ralph Fletcher said.
Fletcher said Thursday's search was organized as a way to start from scratch.
"We've had sightings as far south as Ohio County, allegedly," he said. "None of them have panned out to where we have confirmed reports. But we've been running around and running into a lot of leads that have come up empty."
Some groups looked in open spaces. Some took to much tougher terrain.
"A lot of woods, hills, and caves, so it could be dangerous in respect as far as hikers that could fall, but we just want to do this organized," Fletcher said.
Teams searched in the backwaters area.  They searched from the John D. Rockerfeller Career Center north to Nessly Chapel, and from the Ohio River to the Bell Mesa Trailer Park.
"We're trying to do everything we can to bring a young boy home ...," Fletcher said. "We don't want any 16-year-old to be away from their home for this period of time. We want to make sure he's safe."
Stick with NEWS9 and for updates.

Search is on for missing New Cumberland teen

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