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Missing man's family still hopeful

March 20, 2001

Missing man's family still hopeful



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The parents of an 18-year-old Chambersburg, Pa., man who disappeared while visiting friends at West Virginia University last week think their son may still be alive and hiding out in Morgantown, W.Va.

"I think he is in Morgantown, and it is only a matter of time before someone observes him," said Michael Hayduk, father of Justin Hayduk.

While police have called off searches for now, Michael and Cheryl Hayduk, Justin's parents, organized a group of friends and a family dog to continue searching the Morgantown area today.

"We will spend the day in Morgantown looking for a miracle to occur," Michael Hayduk said. "Maybe something will work out with this dog that hasn't before. It's an outside shot."

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Michael Hayduk believes his son may be afraid to come out of hiding.

"At this point, we just want him to know he is not in any trouble. We want him to come home," his father said.

Hayduk, a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh, was out drinking with friends at West Virginia University March 9 when he became separated from them.

That was around 2 a.m. March 10. Hayduk has been missing since.

Police have received sporadic calls on possible sightings but no real evidence has been uncovered since a hat believed to be Hayduk's was found near the river March 13, police said.

Morgantown Police Department detectives decided Sunday to discontinue searching the Monongahela River unless new information becomes available, said Cpl. Philip Scott, who is heading up the investigation.

"Detectives will continue the investigation this week by re-interviewing friends and acquaintances for possible leads," Scott said.

Hayduk's parents and his brother, Tyler, 15, live in Chambersburg.

"The hardest part is to be patient and not panic. I'm trying to focus on that," Michael Hayduk said.

He said the group heading to Morgantown today is "the right mix of people with good heads," including a couple of former Army officers. "The police have lots of leads they are trying to track down. Who knows, we might just stumble across something," he said.

Hayduk is a 2000 graduate of Chambersburg Area Senior High School and a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.

He is a white male, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing about 140 pounds with brown hair and eyes. He was last seen wearing a University of Pittsburgh baseball cap, a tan vest over a plaid shirt and jeans.

Anyone with information may call the Morgantown Police Department's detective division at 1-304-284-7454.

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