The family of a Middletown teen missing since Thursday has extended its search nationwide in an effort to get the word out to as many people as possible.
At a sobering and at times emotional press conference Monday afternoon at Middletown Police headquarters, longtime family friend Sharon Factor Hartstein said a Facebook page has been set up, Find Nathan Carman, after yesterday's search in New Haven turned up no leads.
Nathan's father Clark was there.
"I combed all of New Haven with all the help that came down in the rain — it was amazing. You’re out there, walking in the rain, checking the union station there, checking all the cabbies that were coming and going, given them flyers, asking them ..."
Harstein encouraged people to tell everyone they know about Nathan.
"[The Facebook page is] where we need people to post, repost, ask your friends and family to post, share the description," Hartstein said. "We need this to go viral, to go nationwide as soon as possible," she pleaded.
"Chances are he’s still here, but we’re not sure. We have to go beyond this because we have no substantiated leads that I am aware of since Thursday," Hartstein said.
Working quickly and urgently is the key to finding Nathan, she explained.
"The sooner and wider and nationwide we can get this, the more people that know about it, the more in the forefront of people’s minds this will be."
Clark indicated yesterday Nathan's grief over losing his horse Cruise in January may have spurred his disappearance. He elaborated today.
"The special partner he had died," Clark said, brought to tears. "So for him, that was his friend. He has no friends." Cruise, Clark said, "had colic, specifically an intestinal problem, he was taken to Tufts and died there. Nathan was there when he died."
Nathan's horse was boarded in East Haddam at Fox Ledge Farm on Daniels Road. The owner, Ann Guptill, says Nathan has not been there since April but she is on the lookout for him.
Although, Clark says, Nathan has a replacement horse, Cruise was special. "He had him four to five years, but they were like this," he said, placing his pointer and middle finger close together.
"He loved that horse, that was a bond ... it’s like the Horse Whisperer," Clark said.
When asked how he and Nathan's mother Linda are holding up, Clark was blunt. "Not real well. It’s been what, five days now? Difficult ... difficult."
He made a plea to the cameras in the hopes Nathan would be watching — a message just for his son.
"Come home," Clark said, as tears welled up in his eyes. "We all miss him so," he said in a whisper. "Don’t be afraid to contact us or the police. I’ll come get you anywhere."
Hartstein said for Nathan to ride his bicycle long distances was not unusual. "Most kids think nothing to take the car to go to Six Flags," she explained. "For him, it was his bike."
"He routinely rode his bicycle 27 miles to the farm in East Haddam," Clark said. However, "This is so much out of character for him. He always left a note."
Anyone with any information or who spots Nathan is asked to call 911 or their local police department.