Sebastian Rogers Update: Search Faces New Challenge

The search for missing teenager Sebastian Rogers faces a new challenge after the United Cajun Navy, a nonprofit organization that arranges rescue teams, called off its search that was scheduled for Friday.

Rogers, 15, disappeared late February from the home he shares with his mother and stepfather in Sumner County, Tennessee. The boy’s stepfather, Chris Proudfoot, was working out of town, and mom Katie Proudfoot said her son wasn’t in his room when she went to wake him up for school on February 26. There had been no sign of a break-in, suggesting he had left of his own accord.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) shared an Amber Alert for the teen, who was described as having “a medical condition that may impair his ability to return safely without assistance.” He was described as 5 feet, 5 inches tall, weighing 120 pounds, wearing glasses and having brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing black sweatpants and a black sweatshirt, according to the alert that was issued by the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office.

Last week the United Cajun Navy announced it joined the search efforts for Rogers in response to several calls for more attention to the case.

As volunteer search crews made it out for the first time on Wednesday, crews were expected to continue the search again on Friday.

However, in a statement on social media, the United Cajun Navy said the search has been called off as it will “regroup and pull back” due to “increasing safety concerns” and the “upcoming Easter holiday.” The safety concerns are reportedly related to alleged death threats.

“Todays search for Sebastian Rogers has been called off. Due to increasing security concerns and with the upcoming Easter holiday, the decision has been made as of this morning to pull back and regroup. This decision was not taken lightly is made with the safety of all volunteers in mind. We want to thank all the volunteers that planned to be out searching today. We are very grateful. We will continue to evaluate the situation and support ongoing local efforts in the mean time. This does not mean the search is over,” United Cajun Navy wrote Friday in a post on Facebook.

While the United Cajun Navy has said that this does not mean the search is over, it’s unclear when they’ll return.

Newsweek has reached out to the United Cajun Navy via email for comment.

Police Tape
The search for missing teenager Sebastian Rogers faces a new challenge after the United Cajun Navy, a nonprofit organization that arranges rescue teams, called off its search that was scheduled for Friday.

Stefani Reynolds / AFP/Getty Images

Although the specifics of the death threats are unclear, United Cajun Navy said it will turn over anyone who impedes the search for Rogers over to local law enforcement.

“Anyone who deliberately impedes the investigation and search for Sebastian Rogers will automatically be considered a person of interest, especially when we know those individuals have extensive criminal records. We are finalizing some intel that we will be turning over to law enforcement, and then we will begin the process of exposing those who actively tried to stop this search,” the organization wrote in its Facebook post.

United Cajun Navy’s search efforts for Rogers initially came after the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) identified missing college student Riley Strain’s body that was found in the Cumberland River last week just days after the nonprofit organization joined the search.

Strain, a 22-year-old University of Missouri student, had been on a trip to Nashville with his fraternity brothers when he disappeared on March 8. Surveillance footage showed him stumbling and struggling to walk in a straight line after he became separated from his friends when he was kicked out of country music star Luke Bryan’s bar, Luke’s 32 Bridge.

Meanwhile, the search for Rogers remains ongoing as the public has continued to push to keep the case in the spotlight by putting up signs in their yards and posting fliers from the sheriff’s office in local businesses and on social media platforms.

Newsweek has also reached out to the Sumner County Sheriff’s office via email for comment.

The Sumner County Sheriff’s Office and TBI have also continued to conduct their search and investigation as they previously began searching for the teen with scent dogs, drones, helicopters, divers and search teams looking for him on foot and on horseback.

In addition, Ken Weidner, the director of Sumner County’s Emergency Operations Center, told News Channel 5 in Nashville on Tuesday that investigators had covered somewhere between 10,000 and 12,000 miles in the past four weeks.

“We’ve had close to 1,500 searchers,” he said. “We’ve got 1,350 documented and then we have additional people, I’m sure we have got more on the public safety side. The first two days, we logged 2,000 search miles and we haven’t had enough time to extrapolate all of this.”