“Our life is not the same, like, at all,” Kara Patterson told Dateline.
Her son, 19-year-old Kadin Black, has been missing from Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, since December of 2022.
Kara said her last phone conversation with Kadin was on Wednesday, December 14. She told Dateline they had been discussing their plan for Christmas. “He was gonna come and stay at our house Christmas Eve to wake up here Christmas morning,” she said. “We were talking about, you know, bedroom arrangements.” She added that nothing seemed out of the ordinary that night.
“I sat here all day on Christmas thinking, ‘Maybe he’s just going to come in that door,’” Kara said.
But he never did. And now, it’s been nearly four months since he was last seen.
Kara raised Kadin and his siblings — two older and two younger — in Wrightsville, Pennsylvania. She described her son as one of a kind.
“He’s not like other kids,” she said. According to Kara, Kadin loves being active and is extremely athletic. “He would go to the gym, you know, at least every other day -- if not every day -- and lift weights and work out,” she said. He also loves hiking and riding his bike. Kara told Dateline she remembers that Kadin was always saying, “These kids nowadays don’t go out and ride bikes.”
Kara and Kadin’s father divorced when Kadin was 3. Maurice Black told Dateline that he sees his son as a “community helper.” He said that Kadin was working on his own lawn care business, was well-known in the small town, and was “like a big brother to some of the kids out here.”
In 2019, Kara got a promotion at work and moved to Maryland with Kadin and the two younger children. After a while, she said, Kadin missed his friends and his life back in Pennsylvania. So he returned to the Wrightsville area to live with his father in November 2021. Then, according to Kara, in September 2022, after getting into a disagreement with his father, Kadin moved in with his friend Ethan Foust and his family. Kadin’s father told Dateline that his son was “at that age where I can’t tell him where he can and can’t live. So I have to let him be his own man.” While Kadin was living with the Fousts, Maurice says he and his son visited with each other often.
Kadin usually visited his father on Sundays to exercise his dogs and had confirmed he would be coming by the next day when he spoke with his father on December 17. “He had talked to his dad Saturday and said, ‘Yeah, I’ll be down tomorrow to take the dogs out,’” Kara said. Maurice stressed to Dateline how important animals -- particularly the two pit bulls -- are to Kadin. “You know, he loved animals,” he said. “We have two pit bulls that he used to run and love on them all the time.”
When Kadin didn’t show up at his house that Sunday, Maurice began to worry. On Monday, December 19, he called Ethan Foust’s father, Chris, to see if he knew where Kadin was, but wasn’t able to reach him.
Kara told Dateline that she received a phone call from Chris Foust on Tuesday, December 20. She said he asked if she had seen Kadin. Kara told him no, and she says that’s when Chris told her they had not seen her son since Saturday, December 17. After their conversation, Chris reported Kadin missing to the Windsor Township Police Department.
Chris Foust told Dateline that as 19-year-olds, it was “not an abnormal thing” that Ethan and Kadin would “go out all night, come home and sleep all day, and repeat it.” But by Tuesday morning when Kadin still hadn’t been seen, the Fousts opened his bedroom door to see that Kadin was not inside. Chris said he then reached out to Kadin’s parents before reporting him missing. Chris described Kadin as a great kid. “We talked a lot, we spent a lot of time together,” he said. “Rode bikes together, just hung out, worked on vehicles together.”
He said Kadin usually hung out with them when he was at the house, but that his demeanor seemed to change about two weeks before he went missing. “He would come home and just go straight to his room and not come out like he used to,” Chris told Dateline.
Both Kara and Chris told Dateline that about two weeks before he disappeared, Kadin began working at a local moving company. According to Kara, Kadin had visited the home of a coworker at the moving company in the days prior to his disappearance. Kara said that after Kadin vanished, she went to Pennsylvania and to the home Kadin had visited. She said she asked a man there if he had any information about her son, but he told her that he didn’t know Kadin.
Chief Jim Thomas of the Lower Windsor Township Police Department told Dateline that they “have talked to [Kadin’s] employer and have followed up on any information that they provided.”
The chief also noted that there are no persons of interest in Kadin’s disappearance and they do not suspect foul play at this time.
Both the Lower Windsor Township Police Department and the York County District Attorney’s office are investigating Kadin’s case.
Chief Thomas and Scott James, Chief County Detective for the York County District Attorney’s Office, both took the time to speak with Dateline. The two described the search efforts for Kadin as exhaustive, centering around the area where authorities say Kadin’s cell phone last pinged. Chief Thomas said that while they were able to obtain Kadin’s cell phone data via a warrant, the cell itself phone has not been recovered. “We did ping the phone and it was last within a coordinate area that was actually quite large,” Chief Thomas said, describing it as a five to six mile radius. Air, land and water searches were performed with the support of many local organizations and agencies that specialize in search and rescue efforts, but nothing of significance was found, according to authorities.
Chief Thomas said that he and his department have been left scratching their heads due to the lack of evidence recovered. “We actually had very little to go on,” he said.
“We checked video cameras in the area, doorbell cams. We’ve checked businesses,” Chief Thomas said. “We have very little to go on.”
Detective James, of the York County District Attorney’s office, told Dateline that the authorities searched for Kadin in December, but noted that “it was adverse weather.” He said, “There was snow and ice, and the river was frozen over.” He confirmed that the authorities continued to search over the winter and have done some follow-up searches since the initial efforts.
While Kara appreciates the work that has been done to help locate her son, she still thinks the authorities could be doing more. “I don’t think that they’ve ever handled anything like this,” Kara said. “It’s a small town, you know? It’s a small police station.”
“We’re such a small community,” Chief Thomas said, noting that Kadin’s disappearance has left the community reeling. “It kind of affected us on a personal level, too.” In fact, Chief Thomas had actually been Kadin’s track coach in high school. “We all knew Kadin. We all got along with Kadin,” he said. “There’s been many a night we sat around the squad room brainstorming and trying to figure out what happened.”
The chief assured Dateline authorities are doing everything they can to find Kadin. “Every lead that we get, we run down and have not been able to come up with some sort of trail,” he said. “It’s like he just disappeared into thin air.”
Detective James finds it equally puzzling. “We had a perfectly physically fit young man. Basically, one night he’s in the house and the next morning he’s not there,” he said. “We don’t have anything pointing specifically to foul play. And we don’t have anything specific about any sort of accident or self-harming or anything like that. It’s just -- it’s just a big question mark.”
As Kadin’s family continues their search for answers, Kara and her ex-husband, Maurice, are reminded every day how incomplete life is without Kadin. “We just need him home because it’s just, it’s like a big hole, an emptiness,” Maurice said. “He [has] such a great smile, you know,” Kara gushed. “He would come in the house and he wouldn’t say ‘Hi.’ He would say, ‘Ayeeeeee.’”
Kara Patterson is asking that people in the area think back to anything they may have noticed during the weekend of December 17, 2022. “Somebody knows something,” she said of her son’s movements. “Maybe they don’t know that they know somebody — or that they know something.” Maurice Black added a direct appeal to his son to come home. “My doors are always open,” he said.
Chief Thomas also stressed that authorities are looking for tips and leads in the case. “I think we’re past asking,” he said. “I don’t want to say begging, but we’re, you know, we’re asking really, really hard: If anybody has any information or any tip that might be helpful to us, get it to us.”
Kadin has dark brown hair, and brown eyes. He is 5’10 and has an athletic build. He weighs around 160 lbs. It is unknown what he was last wearing, but his mother told Dateline he is known to wear dark clothing and white sneakers.
Anyone with information regarding Kadin Black’s disappearance is asked to call the Lower Windsor Township Police Department at 717-244-8055 or Crimestoppers of Pennsylvania at 1-800-843-5678 (1-800-the-lost). You can also submit a tip anonymously online.
Editor’s note: Updated to clarify Kadin Black’s whereabouts in the days leading up to his disappearance.