ELKTON — Investigators are continuing to receive tips and track down leads as they search for two teens who disappeared from an Elkton neighborhood last month but, as of Sunday, Sept. 14 there hadn’t been a break in the case, police reported.
“We are still getting tips, not as much as the first few days, but we are still receiving a steady flow of information,” said Lt. Joseph Zurolo, an Elkton Police Department spokesman. “This is an active investigation. This is obviously a major priority of the Elkton Police Department.”
The concern for the welfare of the missing Elkton teens — Jesse Veasey, 16, and Ricardo Eugene Levenberry, 19 — grows with each passing day, according to Zurolo, who noted that the “first 24 to 48 hours” are critical in a missing persons case.
“When it goes this long, your concern for their safety grows,” Zurolo said.
Investigators are aware that rumors concerning how Levenberry and Veasey vanished are swirling in the community, he said.
Investigators have acted on some of those rumors, after deeming them plausible, Zurolo said. As for other rumors, he said, detectives concluded that they weren’t credible based on the information already gathered in the case.
Veasey, 16, was last seen in public between 6:30 and 7 p.m. Aug. 18, as he willingly got into a “blue four-door Chevy sedan” occupied by a heavy set white man and a white woman in Hollingsworth Manor, police said.
Police said Levenberry was last seen in public between 11 a.m. and noon Aug. 19 — when he got off the bicycle he had been riding near the park on Cow Lane in Hollingsworth Manor, abandoned it there, and then willingly entered the same car that Veasey had entered some 18 hours earlier. The sedan was occupied by the same heavyset man and woman, police said.
Levenberry’s cell phone “shut off by unknown means” during that time frame, police reported.
It is unlike Levenberry and Veasey to be away from their family members and friends for more than a few hours without contacting them by phone, text or other means, according to their relatives.
Levenberry is black, stands about 5-feet-10-inches tall and weighs approximately 155 pounds. He was last seen wearing gray sweatpants, a purple Armani Exchange shirt that had the letters “AE” on the front and green shoes.
Veasey is white, stands about 5-feet-7-inches tall and weighs approximately 130 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.
The two teens, who were living in different Hollingsworth Manor homes at the time of their disappearances, know each other, police said. They also know the heavyset man and woman from whom they accepted their rides, police added.
Within a couple of days of the teens' disappearance, EPD detectives were able to track down that man and woman and locate their car, police said. That couple, police added, told detectives that Veasey and Levenberry were alive and well when they dropped them off in another part of Elkton.
Citing the ongoing investigation, Zurolo has declined to specify where in Elkton the couple drove the teens. He also has declined to detail the circumstances surrounding those pickups and the trips to that undisclosed location in Elkton.
Investigators did not find any evidence or witnesses to dispute the accounts given by the man and woman, who were not taken into custody and have not been charged.
On Aug. 22, the same day that police conducted a large-scale search of the woods and fields surrounding Hollingsworth Manor, investigators raided the Elkton-area home of two other “people of interest,” but that, too, did not yield any arrests.
The FBI is offering $5,000 to anyone who can supply information leading to the location of Levenberry and Veasey.
Anyone with information that might help investigators locate Veasey and Levenberry is asked to call the FBI Baltimore Division at 410-265-8080 or the Elkton Police Department at 410-398-4200.
Meanwhile, the Metro Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up $2,000 reward for information — but only if a criminal act caused the disappearances of Levenberry and Veasey and only if the tipster, who may remain anonymous, can supply information leading to arrests or indictments of the perpetrators.
There are three ways a person can leave an anonymous tip with Metro Crime Stoppers.
Call to the Metro Crime Stoppers hotline, which is open 24 hours a day, at 1-866-7LOCKUP, submit an anonymous tip online at wwww.metrocrimestoppers.org or text “MCS” plus tips to CRIMES (274637).
Metro Crime Stoppers does not use Caller ID or record telephone conversations. A special coding system protects the identity of the caller. Crime Stoppers also takes calls from people with information about any felony.