Updated Tue, Mar 25, 2014 4:04 pm
The mother of Samuel J. Wiater claims she has reason to believe her missing son is alive and "figuring out his life."
Trina Wiater told The Athens Messenger she received a text message from her son's girlfriend saying Sam Wiater left a poem in the girlfriend's apartment.
"It wasn't 100 percent forthright, but she read a lot into it," Trina Wiater said. "Basically what she took from it was that he was OK and trying to get his life in order."
Wiater, 21, of North Lancaster Street, was reported missing March 13 by his mother. Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle said Monday that police still consider Wiater to be missing.
"We have no new credible information at this time," Pyle said, adding that the family has been very cooperative in the investigation.
A search began the night Wiater was reported missing and reconvened at daybreak. Officials stated there was reason to believe Wiater was headed toward the Hocking River, and his vehicle was located near the river, parked by the bike path on Currier Street.
An all-day search came up with no sign of the man, and searches by the State Highway Patrol using infrared technology also showed no sign that Wiater was in the Hocking River.
Pyle said Monday that another search was done last week with equipment from the Little Hocking Volunteer Fire Department. Dive teams searched parts of the river and sonar technology was used, again resulting in no finds, according to Pyle. The dive team was focused on the area between White's Mill and the Currier Street bridge.
Pyle said Monday he was aware of information regarding a letter about the missing man, but would not elaborate. The mother said it is a poem.
Trina Wiater said the news from the girlfriend brought her peace, despite the fact that continued searches by police have come up empty of evidence of her son's whereabouts.
According to Trina Wiater, her son's girlfriend said that Sam got into her apartment without keys, since he had left his keys in his car. It was not clear when the poem was left in the apartment.
She's holding on to hope that her son will come home after he has "figured some things out."
"Even though initially we were just torn up, I've always known he wasn't gone," she told The Messenger. "At this point, we just place him in God's hands ... we have our hearts and our home open whenever he chooses to come home."
Wiater is described as a white male standing 6-1 and weighing 175 pounds. He has a thin build with reddish-brown hair and hazel/green eyes. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, black tennis shoes and a blue Baja hoodie. Despite the existence of a letter, Wiater is still considered a missing person and has not been located.
Anyone with information as to Wiater's whereabouts is asked to call the Athens Police Department at 740-593-6606.