What was supposed to be a fun night out on Thanksgiving Eve has become a heartbreak for the family and friends of a Pennsylvania college student.
West Chester University senior Shane Montgomery, 21, was out with his cousin at Kildare’s Irish Pub in Philadelphia on Nov. 26 and he hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
“The true mystery begins when he supposedly left the bar around 1:45 a.m.,” First Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross tells PEOPLE. “We are confounded because we don’t know what happened.”
No one has used Montgomery’s credit cards since around the time he was last seen. And authorities haven’t been able to spot him on any surveillance video from the area, which is highly unusual.
“If this was a situation where he went missing off the beaten path then it would make sense for him not to be picked up on video,” says Ross. “But this was a very busy and popular spot.”
However, they still have hours of footage to go through.
After false reports suggesting Montgomery had been kicked out of the bar before his disappearance, management at Kildare’s made a statement to set the record straight.
When Montgomery’s cousin – who also works at Kildare’s – told him it was closing time and he had to go, “Shane politely left the building walking through the front door,” John Townsend, Director of Operation at Kildare’s, said at a press conference. “Shane was courteous and friendly as he left the building and he did not cause any concern for the manager or door security.”
The statement also says that a search of the bar’s computer records revealed Montgomery’s bar tab was only $17.
“A lot of time with investigations like this, someone knows something they thought was insignificant and they don’t call,” says Ross. “But that’s the stuff we need. That could be the piece of the puzzle that’s going to help us get over the hump.”
Around 2:30 a.m., Montgomery’s cell phone sent a ping a little less than a mile from the bar, WPVI reported. But that ping doesn’t give Ross too much concern. “A cell phone ping just shows the radius. It doesn’t give an indication of where exactly where he is.”
The FBI is now assisting with the investigation.
One friend of Montgomery says she can’t understand what might have happened. “It’s not like Shane to just walk away or get in trouble,” his classmate and close friend Liz Chiocco, 21, tells PEOPLE. “He’s such a fun, loving and goofy kid.”
And, she says, Montgomery would never want to be the cause of such concern.
“He hates when people worry about him. He wouldn’t do something if he knew it would make people upset,” says Chiocco. “But of course people are going to be upset. His family is unbelievable. They’re staying so hopeful and doing everything in their power to get him home safely.”
A GoFundMe page was also created to raise money for the search efforts.