Search for missing N.C. teens moving out of Horry County

bdickerson@thesunnews.comOctober 20, 2012 

— The search for two North Carolina teens who have been missing for more than a week is stopping in Horry County.

Jackie Ziegler, sister of one of the teens, Jake Ziegler, 18, said Saturday afternoon the search that has been centered around Conway since Wednesday has moved into the Blythewood area, which is near exit 48 just off of Interstate 77 in Fairfield County.

“I’ve completely pulled out of Myrtle Beach,” Jackie Ziegler said. “I have no confirmation that they made it.”

She added the new search has started at a cell tower near I-77 and will head south.

Authorities said one of the teens sent a text message about 2:45 a.m. on Oct. 13, and the phone was in use on I-77 in Fairfield County, between exits 45 and 48. That is about 35 miles north of Columbia. The signal bounced off a cell tower in Rock Hill.

Jackie Ziegler said there are currently 60 to 80 volunteers searching that area. The search isn’t expected to come back to Myrtle Beach unless some legitimate leads are found, she added.

Jake Ziegler, 18, and Ray Pierce, 17, left a party near Sherrills Ford, N.C., in the early-morning hours last Saturday, telling friends they were headed for Myrtle Beach to see the sun rise. The two, seniors at Bandys High School, haven’t been seen since.

The search moved to the Conway area on tips from multiple psychics who said the boys are injured in an overturned car in a desolate area.

Tips poured in that the teens had been sighted in the Myrtle Beach area, but none were confirmed.

Both teenagers are described as being about 5-foot, 11-inches tall and weighing about 150 pounds each.

Ziegler was last seen wearing gray cargo shorts and a royal blue T-shirt with white reverse lettering. Pierce was wearing blue jeans, a red and gray RVCA jacket and Timberland boots.

Anyone with information is asked to call 888-CRIME-SC.

Contact reporter BRAD DICKERSON at 626-0301.

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