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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Search continues for missing BC student

Published: March 9, 2012
Section: News

After another week of thorough searches, police still have no information on the whereabouts of missing Boston College student Franco Garcia.

Garcia, 21, a chemistry major who lives at home with his parents in West Newton, has not been seen since the early morning of Feb. 22, when he attended a BC Mardi Gras celebration with friends at Mary Ann’s, a bar in Brighton. Security camera footage from a nearby bank shows him walking alone toward the BC campus at 12:18 a.m.

Both Newton Police and Massachusetts State Police continue to search Newton and the Chestnut Hill area. Last week, state police officers searched the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, to which his cellphone records indicated he was close, by dragging a sonar scan device across the water. On March 2, divers returned to the reservoir to conclude the search and still found nothing.

Officials also searched the Garcia home and his belongings. They are currently examining security footage from businesses in the vicinity of where Garcia was last seen.

In addition to the police, the Garcia family has hired private investigator Justin Billard, who lives near the reservoir, to assist in the search. Billard is now focusing his search on the Cleveland Circle area, where the bar is located.

“Somebody saw something,” Billard told NECN. “You don’t walk out of an establishment and turn into a cloud.”

He believes that “maybe people saw something and had information on day two, and they had that information, but they thought maybe on day three Franco would come home or be found … They have that information still and they feel maybe they’ll be questioned as to why they didn’t come forward earlier,” Billard said.

Both of these searches have turned up nothing, which leads people to hold onto hope and believe that Franco Garcia is alive, as his father Jose Garcia told The Boston Globe.

Garcia’s disappearance has become a cause for public concern. On March 6, his family held a two-hour public vigil for him at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in East Boston.

Later musician Bruce Springsteen, whose son is a classmate of Garcia’s, posted this message on his Twitter: “Help find Boston College student Franco Garcia. Last seen 2/22/12 in Brighton, MA. Call 617-796-2100 [the number of the Newton police] with any info.”

In a statement to the Boston Globe, State Police spokesperson David Procopio emphasized that the case “remains a missing persons case. There is no evidence to indicate foul play though foul play has not been ruled out.”