Search continues for Tennessee teen days after Amber Alert issued

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Hundreds are continuing to search for 15-year-old Sebastian Rogers nearly a week after he was reported missing from his Tennessee home.

An Endangered Child Alert was issued last week for the Hendersonville teenager, who was last seen on Monday, Feb. 26. Several agencies have spent nearly a week searching for Sebastian, using helicopters, boats, drones, K-9s, and horses.

“We were told that his favorite song was ‘Eye of The Tiger.’ We tried playing that to kind of call him and let him know we’re here to help,” Deputy Chief Eric Craddock with the Sumner County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday, detailing search efforts to that point.

The same day, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued an Amber Alert for Sebastian, citing “additional investigation information” that developed as they were searching for him. An Amber alert is issued when there is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an abduction has occurred and the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death, per the DOJ. The TBI did not release any additional details at the time.

Ken Weidner, director of Sumner County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), spoke with Nexstar’s WKRN on Sunday, March 3, to provide an update on search efforts, and said specialized groups are assisting in the search for the missing 15-year-old.

“Yesterday, we had a group from East Tennessee come in and they’re mountainous experts and they do caves,” said Weidner. “So, any cave that we’ve marked, we’ve had them in those caves.” 

According to Weidner, crews have covered at least five miles of ground so far as the search for Sebastian continues to expand. Some of the searched areas include the city and rural areas of Hendersonville, as well as caves, storm drains and the lake.

Over the first couple of days, authorities said crews searched 2,000 miles on foot throughout Hendersonville, about 15 miles north of Nashville. On Thursday, Craddock explained they were “operating under the assumption that Sebastian walked off. We have no evidence to disprove that.” He added that the family had been cooperative.

While searches were primarily done by law enforcement, late last week, crews asked residents to check areas around them for any signs of Sebastian.

As the search for Sebastian wraps up its first week, Weidner said individuals across the state are becoming more eager to assist.

“One thing about Tennessee and the Southeast is that we’re always going to have people that want to help, and we’ve gotten calls from people across the state for people who want to come in and help us,” Weidner told WKRN. “The thing we got to do is be able to manage that. So, we track everybody that’s on the ground. The first two days we did 2,000 miles of people walking and we haven’t run those numbers for the entire duration of this operation, but it’s great to be able to call in specialized groups that do the things we can’t do. It’s really good.” 

On Saturday, March 2, the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office said people could aid in the search by reviewing security cameras and focus on the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 25 through the morning of Monday, Feb. 26.

The sheriff’s office told WKRN that an anonymous group of business owners in the Nashville area have pledged a minimum cash reward of $3,000 for information that helps investigators find Sebastian.

No other information has been released.

Sebastian is 5 feet, 5 inches tall, 120 pounds with dirty blond hair. He was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt and black sweatpants.


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