A Notre Dame University student has been missing for more than a month now. Eighteen-year-old Chad Sharon vanished Dec. 12, after attending an off-campus party in South Bend.
Sharon's parents say they're still holding out hope that Chad is alive. They flew to South Bend this week for the first time since Chad's disappearance to look for some answers. The family says they did not make the trip before, because they wanted to be there for the rest of the family. They also wanted to be by the phone during the holidays in case Chad should call. His mother says she was afraid to leave the house.
"If I did, I took the phone with me to the mailbox," said Jane Sharon, Chad's mother.
"My wife stayed by the phone for 22 days straight, steady," said Steve Sharon, Chad's father.
Chad Sharon grew up in Merrill. Many of his neighbors have known him since he was a young boy.
"I know the first day that he went missing, people said 'Well, maybe he took off'," says Patrice Smith, a neighbor of the Sharons in Merrill who has known them for nearly 18 years. "And the first thing out of my son's mouth was, 'Not a chance. Not a chance.'"
Smith says Chad and her son Ben spent a lot of time together their senior year.
"He was a very polite kid," says Darlene Clark, another long-time neighbor of the Sharons, before they moved to Pelican Lake. "He'd be out working around in the yard or whatever, and he'd help with yard work in different neighbors' yards."
The Sharons spent several days in South Bend. When they come back to Wisconsin, the Sharons will be bringing home the Notre Dame sweatshirts their son had bought as Christmas presents shortly before he disappeared.
At this time detectives say there is no new information in the case. Chad's parents are asking that anyone with information to please come forward.