FREEPORT, Maine — Law enforcement officials are continuing to ask members of the public to come forward with information that could potentially help them find 14-year-old Theo Ferrara, but they are also still urging the public to leave active search areas to the professionals.
Theo was last seen at his home in Freeport around 4:30 p.m. Thursday. He's described as 5 feet, 7 inches, about 125 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a white windbreaker over a T-shirt, with gray shorts with a neon stripe and a royal blue backpack.
"We still believe he's in this general area," Freeport Police Chief Nathaniel Goodman said during a press conference Monday. "We still ask for the public's assistance if they have game cameras, trail cameras, dash cams, doorbell cams."
Goodman said any video between 4 and 9 p.m. Thursday would be useful to search and rescue personnel, regardless of whether or not Theo can be seen in it. He added that the Freeport Police Department's tip line is the best way to report potential information about Theo: 207-725-5521, option 2, then option 6.
"Any footage that can either show Theo or not show him — we're interested either way so we can prove or disprove that he was in a certain area," Goodman said.
Dozens of family friends and volunteers have been hanging posters on utility posts and signs across Freeport and Brunswick.
"Theo is one of the most affectionate, fun-loving, wonderful guys. Great sense of humor. He is so respected by his peers," family friend Leah Gailey said. "He was actually voted by his peers to be one of the co-captains of the soccer team this fall. Incredible artist. Incredible athlete, incredibly smart, wonderful child."
On Monday, Gailey and other volunteers were helping to distribute the posters at Freeport Community Center.
"We're trying to make sure that everyone knows his face. And that everybody knows that he is loved, and we want him to come home," family friend Christine Lyons said.
"I think the most important thing is that Theo comes home safe. I believe in the deepest of my heart that he is out there and we can bring him home safe," Gailey said.
The search remains focused on the roughly mile radius of Theo's home in the area of Flying Point Road and Bunganuc Road in Freeport and Brunswick. Officials have not been given any reason to move their center of operations or the current search zone that they're in, according to Goodman.
"Until the facts lead us to another place, we're going to stay right where we are and continue operating as quickly as we can to find him," Goodman said, adding people have come forward claiming to have seen Theo on the day he disappeared. He did not specify exactly when or where.
Lt. Daniel Menard of the Maine Warden Service said during Monday's press conference that the agency is working to systematically rule out places Theo could be, using a variety of resources that include Maine Marine Patrol, aircraft, and K9 teams.
"We're hopeful that we'll come up with something soon," Menard said.
When asked if there was anything about this search that has been different compared to past searches for missing people, both Goodman and Menard said the terrain is not easy terrain to search.
"I can't speak specifically, but we have a large area of water and heavy canopy on land, so that's unique, I guess," Goodman said. "The terrain is not easy terrain. It's labor intensive."
"At this point, we're just going to keep on heading forward. Somebody out there hopefully has some intel they can give us," Menard added.
When asked about whether officials are looking into the leadup to Theo's disappearance, such as cellphone records or social media messages, Goodman said officials have been tasked to do so.
Goodman said officials have not received information that would give them insight into Theo's state of mind on the day he went missing.
McKaila Sanborn, an employee of Brickyard Hollow in Freeport, told NEWS CENTER Maine she's seen the community rally together pretty quickly to do what it can.
"Freeport is a really close-knit family. It really is a family. It's not just a community," Sanborn said.
Sanborn added that many people have come by their business asking to put more flyers about Ferrara's disappearance in their windows and throughout the restaurant.
"We've also had a few people place a few orders to go down to the family to make sure that they're eating during this time. We understand that it's extremely difficult, so we've been doing everything we can to get those orders out," Sanborn said.
Bryleigh Freeman, a Freeport High School sophomore, told NEWS CENTER Maine it's been difficult seeing how Ferrara's disappearance is affecting her school community and those closest to him.
"They were all pretty sad about it. A lot of them were crying a lot at school which was very upsetting," Freeman said.
But she said the community is trying to keep a positive outlook on the search.
"I'm just hoping that we find him and he's home safe," Freeman said.