As search continues, community holds vigil for missing Roxborough man

What has traditionally been a joyful and festive weekend in Roxborough and Manayunk has grown increasingly somber as the search continues for Shane Montgomery, the 21-year-old Roxborough resident who went missing during the early hours of Thanksgiving.Nearly 72 hours later, there have been no signs leading police to Montgomery’s whereabouts.

On Saturday morning, nearly 300 friends, neighbors and relatives gathered at St. John the Baptist Church in Manayunk to form a search party.

“My family and I are so overwhelmed by this outpouring of community support,” said Shane’s mother, Karen Montgomery, as she awaited news in the church hall at St. John’s. “It may be stereotypical but as a mother I always felt a little more comfortable having boys,” she added, noting that Shane has one older brother Thomas, 30. “This is something I just never imagined would happen.”

Teams 10 to 15 people covered 12 geographical areas throughout the day, handing out fliers and pounding the pavement from 10 a.m.until the very last moments of daylight.

Community comes together

As the day progressed with no news, the Manayunk Development Corporation announced it would be canceling its annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.

In lieu of the ceremony, a candlelight vigil was held at Canal View Park for the community to gather in prayer for Montgomery’s safe return.

“We have to keep praying,” Shane’s father, Kevin Montgomery, said to those gathered at the vigil. “That’s what this is about.”

Background information

Montgomery, a student at West Chester University, was last seen early Thursday morning leaving Kildaire’s Irish Pub after spending the night with friends and family at the bars along Main Street in Manayunk.

Montgomery was separated from his group and was escorted out of Kildare’s after knocking over a barstool, according to reports.

The incident occured around 1:45 a.m, and while Kildare’s has no surveillance, videos from other businesses along Main Street captured a man of similar height and build heading towards Green Lane on Main Street. Family members have been unable to confirm that man is Montgomery, however, due to poor video quality. 

Montgomery’s last attempt at communication was a text message sent at 1:15 a.m. and a phone call at 1:38 a.m. At 2:38 a.m. two Lower Merion cellphone towers picked up a ping from Montgomery’s phone — an Amazon Fire with a white speckled case — presumably as the phone lost its battery charge.

Search plans

Following Saturday evening’s vigil a mass was held at St. John the Baptist Church in honor of Montgomery.

Police will continue the search for Montgomery on Sunday. 

The Montgomery family has posted a $10,000 reward for any information leading to their son’s whereabouts. He is described as a 5′ 11″ white male, weighing between 130 and 140 pounds with short brown hair and green eyes.

He was last seen wearing a gray button-down shirt, blue jeans, gray hooded sweatshirt and black sneakers, and has a tattoo of a Celtic cross on his shoulder blade.

Investigators ask anyone with information about the case, or suspects, to call Northwest Detective Division at (215) 686-3353/54 or the tips line at (215) 686-TIPS, text a tip to PPD TIP (773847) or send it in via the department’s website.

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