Search continues for Vidalia man

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 14, 2005

VIDALIA &8212; Family and friends of missing Vidalia teen Jonathan Edens continued to assist the Concordia Parish Sheriff&8217;s Office in its desperate search all day Friday.

Edens, 19, has been missing since Tuesday night, when he left the Monterey home of his girlfriend for his father&8217;s house in Vidalia. Edens called his father at 9:20 p.m. to tell him he was on the way but never showed up.

Edens&8217; pickup truck was discovered Thursday off Louisiana 565 near the bridge over Bayou Cocodrie. Edens had apparently struck a deer, lost control and swerved left off the highway. His truck traveled some 200 feet through a harvested cornfield and into the woods.

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There were no tire marks on the highway.

The truck then ran over several small trees before stopping 75 feet into the woods.

The windshield was smashed, and a 150-pound deer was in the back of the extended cab truck.

According to friends and family members, the truck was found with its doors closed and bloody handprints running down the passenger side to the tailgate, suggesting he was conscious and mobile after the accident. Drops of blood led approximately 6 feet back toward the highway and then stopped.

Nobody knows what happened after that, but sheriff&8217;s deputies and officials from the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Agency have spent the last two days dragging the bayou and searching the nearby woods without success.

&8220;They&8217;re very determined to find this missing boy,&8221; CPSO spokesperson Kathy Stevens said.

Edens&8217; cell phone, shoes and wallet were reportedly found in the passenger-side front seat. Family members said it is not like Edens to be away from his phone.

They also said investigators found an outgoing call on the phone that came after Edens&8217; call to his father.

Stevens would not say if foul play is suspected or not, nor would she comment on specifics of the investigation.

John Edens, Jonathan&8217;s father, praised the sheriff&8217;s department and said it was doing all it could to solve the mystery.

Still, he fears the worst.

&8220;I think he was taken from here, and I don&8217;t think the people who took him from here had good intentions. That&8217;s just my opinion,&8221; Edens said.

The search continues today, and any help from the public would be greatly appreciated, the family said.

&8220;If anybody has my son or knows where he is, please contact somebody, even if they&8217;re involved in it,&8221; Edens said.

&8220;They don&8217;t have to tell who they are or anybody who&8217;s involved in it, I just want to get my son back. &8230; Live or dead, I just want my son back.&8221;