Reward Climbs to $31,000 in Search for Missing College Student

The suburban Philly university is holding a candlelight vigil Wednesday in support of the search for Shane Montgomery, the 21-year-old who went missing early Thanksgiving morning, as the reward money for clues to his whereabouts climbs to $31,000.

Classmates of the 21-year-old West Chester University senior gathered outside the Sykes Student Union Wednesday at 6 p.m. for a candlelight vigil.

The vigil comes nearly a week after family members first reported Shane missing — and on the same day volunteers replaced fliers destroyed by recent rain in the area.

The Roxborough native was last seen around 1:45 a.m. Thursday when he was asked to leave Kildare's Irish Pub on Main Street in Manayunk. Kildare's management confirmed Shane's parents account — the missing student was "polite" and "respectful" when he left and did not appear intoxicated.

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.

Despite the efforts of local and federal authorities, as well as family and friends, the Roxborough native remained missing Wednesday morning.

Volunteers plan to meet at St. John the Baptist Catholic church on Rector Street in Manayunk Wednesday so they can post new fliers with Shane's photo throughout the area where he was last seen.

Contributions from the Student Government Association at West Chester University and a suburban Philly bar, The Grog, located in Bryn Mawr, Montgomery County, upped the reward total to $31,000 from $25,000, according to a post on the Help Find Shane Montgomery Facebook page.

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.

"We're waiting for him to walk in the door, but you realize that each hour goes... it's just harder and harder," said Kevin Montgomery, Shane's father.

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

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