Reward Now $50K in Search for Missing Student - NBC Connecticut
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Reward Now $50K in Search for Missing Student

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Search for Shane Continues

    As the search for missing college student Shane Montgomery continues, officials are increasing the reward money. (Published Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014)

    LATEST STORY: Search for Shane Montgomery Heads to Lincoln Financial Field


    Family members of Shane Montgomery announced the reward for information about the whereabouts of the missing West Chester University senior, who disappeared early Thanksgiving morning after a night out with friends, has increased to $50,000.

    Karen Montgomery, Shane's mother, announced the increase at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church of Manayunk on Rector Street Saturday afternoon.

    "If money is the incentive to find Shane, then I would go to the ends of the Earth," Karen said Saturday. "I just need one courageous person to come forward."

    "There's no confirmation of a picture, video," she continued. "The video that has been collected has been very grainy."

    The lack of visual evidence prompted Shane's relatives to announce a new strategy as part of their search efforts earlier this week -- asking others who were barhopping in Manayunk the night before Thanksgiving to check their phones for photos of the missing student.

    "We are still looking for selfies, videos on Main Street with something in the background that might resemble Shane," said Karen, who was wearing a green ribbon Saturday to honor her son.

    A mass followed by a rosary service for Shane will take place at St. John the Baptist starting 6 p.m. Sunday.

    Shane, a West Chester University senior and Roman Catholic High School alumnus, was last seen around 1:45 a.m. on Thanksgiving when he was asked to leave Kildare's Irish Pub on Main Street in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia.

    Karen encouraged the public to visit the website, HelpFindShaneMontgomery.com, for the latest information.

    The search expanded beyond the northwest Philadelphia neighborhoods to other sections of the city earlier this week.

    Reports indicated one of the bars' bouncers spotted the missing student about an hour after he left the Main Street pub, but investigators determined the sighting was not Shane after reviewing surveillance video from the area.

    Shane's parents, Kevin and Karen Montgomery, appeared on the Today Show Thursday, telling host Matt Lauer about the massive search effort and how difficult their lives have been since they first reported their son missing.

    "I always knew Shane was a special kid," Karen said. "Your kids are always very special to you. I've kind of always questioned my parenting skills and I've come to the conclusion that I didn't do such a bad job with Shane and I hope that we find him soon."

    Philadelphia police do not suspect foul play, although his disappearance is considered suspicious. Authorities have used K-9s, helicopters and marine units to search Manayunk and Roxborough, as well as the Schuylkill River, which borders Main Street. 

    The FBI joined the search efforts Saturday and posted digital billboards over the holiday weekend in hopes of locating Shane. The federal organization's task force is often involved when a missing persons case has "suspicious circumstances," an FBI spokesperson said.

    A reward for information about Shane's whereabouts climbed to $40,000 Thursday, a day after his West Chester University classmates held a candlelight vigil to show support for the search. A bake sale at Roxborough Memorial Hospital Friday aimed to keep the public's attention on the search.

    Shane, who weighs about 140 pounds and stands 5-foot-11-inches tall, was wearing a buttoned- down gray shirt, gray hoodie and jeans when he left the bar. He also has a unique Celtic cross tattoo on his shoulder.

    Anyone with information is urged to contact Philadelphia Police at 215-686-3353/54 or the FBI at 215-418-4000.