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Glasses found in search for missing autistic teen Sebastian Rogers as search enters sixth week

Investigators looking for missing Tennessee teenager Sebastian Rogers said on Tuesday that a pair of glasses had been found, but they could not confirm they belonged to the boy.

After over a week of silence from the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, a briefing was held by both offices as the search for the 15-year-old entered its sixth week.

“We’re all extremely concerned for Sebastian’s welfare,” Eric Craddock, SCSO chief deputy, began the briefing, saying that despite no sightings, their commitment to finding the boy “remains unwavering”.

Sebastian, who was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt and sweatpants, as well as his glasses, disappeared overnight on 25 February. At Tuesday’s briefing, the chief deputy was asked about a pair of glasses reportedly found.

“There were some glasses found in the last few days,” Mr Craddock said, adding that his office was still investigating who they belonged to.

In the first week, there was a very visible search effort for the autistic teen, including foot patrols, search dogs and drones. That visible search effort has now been scaled back (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)
In the first week, there was a very visible search effort for the autistic teen, including foot patrols, search dogs and drones. That visible search effort has now been scaled back (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

The chief deputy thanked the Hendersonville community for sending in more than 300 tips on the case, as well as getting involved in the search and printing flyers with Sebastian’s face on it.

In the first week, there was a very visible search effort for the autistic teen, including foot patrols, search dogs and drones. That visible search effort has now been scaled back, with the TBI’s Susan Niland saying that did not mean they had forgotten about the boy.

“We are not done,” Ms Niland said. “It’s gone back to what could be considered good old-fashioned police work.

“Interviewing individuals, reinterviewing individuals, checking leads, rechecking leads,” she explained.

SCSO and TBI are also working with other agencies that have had experience with cases like Sebastian’s.

The chief deputy was asked a few times about any signs of foul play, especially on the part of Sebastian’s parents.

Mr Craddock and Ms Niland said there was no evidence of that, but that they also had not ruled anything out.

Investigators said Sebastian’s stepfather Chris Proudfoot and mother Katie Proudfoot had cooperated with their work (Chronicles of Olivia/YouTube)
Investigators said Sebastian’s stepfather Chris Proudfoot and mother Katie Proudfoot had cooperated with their work (Chronicles of Olivia/YouTube)

“We do want to caution, there are some social media elements out there who purport to have some information that is direct from the investigation,” Ms Niland added.

“I just want to reiterate that that is not the case. Some of the information that is being provided on some social media channels is inaccurate, incomplete, we don’t want this to damage the investigation,” she said.

The rumours and speculation had caused a “distraction”, Ms Niland said, and had led to false information making its way back to investigators.

Chief deputy Craddock said that as the weeks roll on, his hope and prayer is that Sebastian is still alive somewhere.

“We come up with theories almost daily and try and investigate and make sure that we are doing everything we can to find Sebastian,” Craddock said.

“If my kid was missing, this is the team I would want on it.”