It’s been more than three weeks since a Williamsport, Pennsylvania man was last seen, but his family and friends are not giving up hope that they will find him.
“We’re hanging in limbo right now until we have him,” Karen Stoner told Dateline. Her son, Matthew Stoner, disappeared the night of February 7. “It’s very upsetting not knowing where he is.”
Matthew, 33, was last seen with his girlfriend and a group of friends, celebrating Mardi Gras at a bar in downtown Williamsport. Family members say he had a little too much to drink, and after stepping out for some air, was not let back into the bar.
It is believed that Stoner decided to walk the 10 or so minutes back to his mother’s house, where he had been living at the time. “The hardest part is coming home from work every day and he’s not here,” Karen said.
Authorities have a theory of what may have happened that frigid night, a thought that Karen says is haunting their family.
Officials tracked down the last known images of Stoner, a grainy surveillance video showing him walking onto the Market Street Bridge. He never made it to the other side, police say.
“Until we have that area thoroughly checked, we cannot say with certainty we know exactly what happened,” Assistant Chief Miller told Dateline. “We just want to find some answers for his family, I really feel so bad for them and not knowing.”
A cadaver dog, who was brought in from Pittsburgh, indicated there were some type of remains downstream from the bridge. But because of recent weather conditions and the just-above-freezing water temperatures, divers have been unable to thoroughly search that specific area of the Susquehanna River.
Divers with the New Cumberland River Rescue are expected to return this Wednesday to lead another search. “There aren’t a whole lot of answers right now, but we’re working as hard as we can to find some,” Miller said. “We’ve ruled out a lot of other theories -- that there was a fight at the bar or things along those lines -- but until we recover him, we don’t know what could have happened.”
Despite what officials are saying, Matthew’s family is holding out hope for the man they say loved the outdoors and spending time with his loved ones. “We have our times where we don’t know how we’ll go on,” Karen told Dateline. “I hope we do not have to live like this forever.”
Matthew Stoner is described as 5’10” tall, weighing 165 lbs. with brown hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing a brown hoodie and jeans.
If you have any information regarding Matthew’s disappearance, please contact the Williamsport Bureau of Police at (570) 433-3166.