CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The effort to find two Catawba County teens missing for more than a week will focus Sunday on Bank of America Stadium and on the Interstate 77 corridor in South Carolina’s Fairfield County.
Jake Ziegler, 18, and Ray Pierce, 17, have not been seen since they left a party in Sherrills Ford about 1:15 a.m. Oct. 13. They told friends they were driving to Myrtle Beach to see the sun rise, then return home so one of the men could get to his job Saturday afternoon.
Police say the last contact with the teens was when Ziegler sent a text message from his phone about 2:45 a.m. Oct. 13. That message bounced off a cell tower in Rock Hill, and authorities believe it was sent from I-77, somewhere around mile marker 45, in Fairfield County. That is about halfway between Rock Hill and Columbia.
Friends of the missing teens plan to distribute fliers Sunday at the Carolina Panthers’ game against the Dallas Cowboys. The hope is that fans coming to the game from South Carolina will keep an eye open when they return home.
Police believe the two probably were involved in a crash.
Meanwhile, the S.C. Law Enforcement Division and CUE, along with volunteers, plan another day of searching on I-77 in Fairfield County. They plan to gather Sunday morning at Exit 47.
Based on information from psychics, family and friends searched several days last week in Horry County, after the psychics said they had “seen” the missing teens in an overturned car in a desolate area. Zig Ziegler, Jake’s father, rented a helicopter two days to help with the search. No trace of the young men was found.
Authorities believe the most likely scene of a crash would be in Fairfield and Richland counties.
Dozens of volunteers searched Saturday in York County, but organizers said Saturday evening that the York search had ended, and that Sunday’s efforts would be focused on I-77 in Fairfield.
It is possible the search will be extended to Interstate 20, between Columbia and Florence, since that is assumed to be part of the young men’s planned route.
Friends held a fund raising event Saturday night in Catawba County, to help Ziegler’s and Pierce’s families pay for the cost of the searches.