Still no sign of teen

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 14, 2005

deer park, La. &8212; As the sun set on a third day of searching, family and friends of Jonathan Edens were pleading for information about the missing Vidalia teenager.

Edens, 19, disappeared Tuesday night, when he never arrived at his parents&8217; house after calling to say he was leaving the Monterey home of his girlfriend.

His truck was found two days later, but searches over miles of land and water have turned up no sign of the teenager.

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&8220;It&8217;s just like he vanished,&8221; aunt Becky Edens said, her voice weary after days of uncertainty. &8220;It&8217;s the not knowing that&8217;s so hard.&8221;

Becky Edens, her son James and her best friend Julia Hugg were among those wrapping up the search in the last moments of light Saturday.

Sheriff&8217;s department and Wildlife and Fisheries officials, along with dozens of volunteers and family members, have been searching for Edens for three days with horses, four-wheelers and boats.

Family members planned to print fliers with Edens&8217; photo and information Saturday night, so they could distribute them and display them today.

&8220;Somebody&8217;s got to know something,&8221; Becky Edens said.

The mystery behind Edens&8217; disappearance only deepened with the discovery of his truck Thursday morning. The pickup had apparently struck a deer, then Edens swerved out of control and drove off the highway, across a field and into the woods.

When Concordia Parish Sheriff&8217;s Deputy Sgt. Eddie Poole found the truck, the windshield was smashed and the dead deer was lying in the back seat, but Edens was nowhere to be found.

Family members have said the truck&8217;s doors were closed and bloody handprints ran down the passenger side of the truck to the tailgate. But drops of blood led about 6 feet to the highway and then stopped.

&8220;We think somebody got him,&8221; Becky Edens said. &8220;People don&8217;t just vanish.&8221;

She said the sheriff&8217;s department has taken its investigation beyond the search phase into questioning people, but officials aren&8217;t able to give much information to the family as their probe continues.

Edens&8217; family and friends said the teenager, the son of Johnny and Lana Edens of Vidalia, is a friendly young man.

&8220;He gets along with everybody,&8221; cousin James Edens said.

&8220;Everybody remembers him as a smiley face,&8221; Becky Edens said.

The family is pleading for anyone with information to call the sheriff&8217;s department, even if it&8217;s just an anonymous tip.

&8220;If anybody knows anything, where he&8217;s at, we need to know,&8221; Becky Edens said.

Anyone with any information about Edens&8217; whereabouts is urged to call the Concordia Parish Sheriff&8217;s Department at 318-336-5231, 318-386-2200 or 318-757-3162.

Edens was driving a 1997 green Chevy pickup truck.

He is described as a white male, approximately 5-foot-8, with sandy brown hair and brown eyes.

When he called his father Tuesday night, Edens had just arrived back in the parish from his job in New Iberia.