Search underway for missing 19-year-old in Boone

BOONE, N.C. — Crews searched Wednesday for a missing 19-year-old man near Boone.

It has been more than a month since anyone has seen Martin Roberts. Police told Channel 9 that Roberts, who attended Caldwell Community College, was last seen in Boone.

Firefighters and rescuers are using cadaver dogs to search the Boone Reservoir.

Investigators and firefighters searched popular hiking areas nearby, including Trout Lake, one of the places that police said Roberts liked to visit.

They also searched the town's reservoir.

Lisa Briggs of Western Carolina University said her cadaver dog has found bodies before when people can't locate them.

"(There are) those very faint gases through decomposition, even if the body is deep in the water,” Briggs said. “Even if the body is deep in the water, the gases are still going to surface."

Boone Police Chief Dana Crawford said his department and volunteers have spent hundreds of hours looking for the missing man.

They have recovered surveillance video from local businesses where Roberts was seen on the day he disappeared, but there are still gaps in the timeline.

"We're going to be relentless in this, and we have been,” Crawford said. “This has been an ongoing event for over five weeks, and we want to bring them answers."

Volunteers have also supported the Roberts family, including North Catawba firefighter Jason Rosenberger who dove nearly 40 feet to search the bottom of the reservoir.

"No, I'm not from this area and I don't know this family and never met them, but I want to bring some type of closure or ending for the family," he said.

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