There are some people missing, and as a lifelong resident of Springfield, this has me concerned.
Some believe this had already been happening, and we just hadn’t realized it. There’s a lot of speculation, because of the power of social media. People are not posting all the facts, or they’re promoting false stories, all of which can ruin the chances of whoever is behind this getting caught.
As a city we’re scared. The city law officials say there’s no evidence of people being kidnapped or abducted, nor any suspects involved with trying to kidnap or abduct people.
There might not be any hard evidence of what happened to these victims as of right now, but it should still raise a red flag that adults have left the bar, work, or home, and never returned back to their loved ones. The disappearances started to rise to attention in early January.
Achim Bailey was one of three to go missing within the same month. He’s 23 years old and a graduate from Springfield Central High School. Bailey has been missing for over a month. He was last seen January 12 when he was getting dropped off at Samuel’s sports bar on Hall of Fame Avenue a little after 11 p.m. He was later escorted out by security around 1:30 a.m.
Surveillance footage showed Bailey walking north on Hall of Fame Ave. to the Memorial Bridge and additional footage recorded around 3 a.m. showed a man believed to be Bailey walking south on the railroad tracks.
His phone was reportedly shut off during the night; the signal from his phone was last detected around the same time by a cell tower near the South End Bridge.
Springfield, State, and Amtrak police searched the area near the Connecticut River in the south end. Before the police arrived, there was a man searching who found a phone on the train tracks.
It turned out to be Bailey’s. He and others claimed when they turned it on, there were text messages addressed to Bailey. The man was taken into custody for questioning but was cleared.
It remains a mystery as to how the phone got there and was undisturbed for almost two weeks, despite previous police searches, and how it remained operational when there was a significant amount of snowfall, heavy rain, and freezing temperatures.
Twenty-five year-old Andrew Pearson II, also a graduate of Springfield Central High School, was the second person to go missing. He was last seen January 28 at about 4 p.m. when he was heading to work at Panera Bread in East Longmeadow, Mass.
His parents say he left without his cellphone that day. Pearson was last seen wearing denim jeans, black sneakers, and a fuzzy, bright blue sweatshirt.
Bailey and Pearson are still missing. If you know of any information please, contact the Springfield Police department at 413-750-2379. Information on the two men can be found on MassLive.com
Melissa Mestre, a 38 year-old woman, had gone missing on January 31, when she was last seen leaving her home. Her boyfriend and her son took to social media to report that she had not returned.
News outlets did not cover Mestre’s disappearance. There was no missing persons report on MassLive, but WWLP did report that a body was found in Lowell, Mass.
According to the Lowell Sun’s website the body was identified as a 38 year old Springfield woman, but the victim’s name was not released to the public.
As a Springfield resident, I want others to understand how serious this is. There are no real answers as to what is going on, but it’s important to make the campus aware.
I’ve spoken with many students on campus who had no idea what was going on, which is very disappointing because not only are things happening so close to the campus, but it’s happening in the same city they’re living, shopping, and going out in. I know a few students who eat at the Panera Bread Pearson worked at and students who party at Samuel’s sports bar.
It’s important to keep up with what’s happening around you. Some students might think watching the news is lame, but you can download an app to get notifications or take a few minutes out of your day to check one of the Western Mass news outlets. Students spend four years, sometimes more, in Springfield and have no idea what’s going on around them whether it’s good or bad.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to not go out alone, whether you’re going to the store or to a party. If you’re going out with your friends, I highly recommend that the whole group doesn’t drink. It’s good to have someone sober to watch out.
“The buddy system always works. Let people know where you’re going and who you’re with. Don’t go to strange places at strange times, with people doing strange things,” said Springfield College Public Safety Officer Sergeant Daniel Cotter.
Become familiar with the off-campus parties and clubs. If you’re taking an Uber, send the driver’s profile to a friend and share your location. I know everyone just wants to have fun without any worries, but it’s so much better to be safe.
Cotter wants the students to know that they should call Public Safety or stop in at 25 Portsmouth Street if they have any suspicious activity to report.