Today is Logan Schiendelman’s 20th birthday, but instead of celebrating, the teen’s family and friends are out searching for any clue that could bring him home.
“You can sit there and work your mind all night long coming up with scenarios,” Mike Ware, Logan’s uncle, who is also a retired Thurston County sheriff’s lieutenant, told Dateline. “The circumstances are rather unusual.”
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Logan was last seen the morning of May 19, 2016 at his grandparents' home in Tumwater, Washington. And as Logan’s uncle Mike said, the circumstances surrounding the former high school football player’s disappearance can be described as rather odd.
On May 20, Logan’s black 1996 Chrysler Sebring convertible was found abandoned on Interstate 5 between Tumwater and Maytown. Three drivers called 911 and told authorities the vehicle was pulled over onto the shoulder of the southbound side, where a man described as white with light brown or red hair jumped out and ran into the woods, according to police.
The car was left in gear and then slowly drifted through three lanes of traffic where it crashed into the median. Inside were Logan’s belongings, his cell phone and wallet.
“The area is extremely thick and brushy. I’ve spent hours out there searching myself,” Ware told Dateline. “Canines were brought in to search and it’s been covered extensively. But nothing has been found.”
The case continues to boggle the community and those who know Logan. The Facebook group ‘Logan Schiendelman Missing’ has well over 6,500 members. Daily, there are several posts with photos and memories of Logan, along with questions as to what could have happened to the Tumwater High School graduate described as friendly and above all else, polite.
Logan’s family has hired a private investigator to look into the case, but little information is reportedly available. Authorities are also still investigating, but few clues have turned up in the search.
“There really has been nothing definitive on any avenue,” Ware said. “Yes, it’s frustrating. It is never off your mind, it stays with you. This young man needs to be found.”
Logan Schiendelman is described as 6’ tall, weighing roughly 150 lbs. with black hair and brown eyes. If you have any information regarding his whereabouts, you’re urged to call the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office at (360) 704-2740.
The family has also started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for a reward for information about Logan's disappearance.
Rachael Trost is an Associate Editor of social media and digital content for Dateline NBC and NBC News Specials. She started at Dateline in August 2014. Rachael graduated from The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University, where she worked on numerous award winning broadcasts and publications. She currently lives in New York City.