Jacob Cole McCarty went missing on Tuesday, September 21, along with his pet Isabella.
A distressed father in Indiana is urging the public to help him look for his teenage son who went missing while walking his dog. Tuesday, September 21, was the last time, Jacob Cole McCarty was seen by anyone, according to the Harrison County Sheriff's Department's Facebook post. On Saturday, authorities posted a video where Sheriff Nick Smith revealed that the Corydon resident had taken his pet named Isabella, a German Shepherd, into the woods for a walk but never returned home. The 14-year-old's father, Jeremiah McCarty, can be seen standing beside Smith who went on to share that Jacob may have been planning to meet someone that he had met online.
"His son has an online gaming presence, like many of our children," explained Smith according to PEOPLE. "We believe, with the information that we've collected in this investigation, that his son had met someone online and had plans to meet them." After the boy was reported missing, officials tirelessly searching the area on foot, by air, and even brought in their canine teams to help locate him. They thoroughly looked through hundreds of hours of camera footage from every residence and business nearby but authorities "have not been able to find [Jacob] or who he went with."
"We believe, at this point, Jacob can't return, and we need your help," said Smith, before urging the community to review their security camera footage and see if they come across the boy and his dog. " It might be a gas station," he added. "It might be a McDonald's drive-thru. It might be anywhere. We do not have the manpower to check every camera in a 200-mile radius, but you do... this is the day that you can help [Jeremiah]." The heartbroken father also addressed the public in the due course of the video and begged them to help him find his son. "Any time that anyone can spend looking at the cameras they may have, please do," he pleaded through tears.
"Help me bring home such a good boy. He's such a good kid," he continued. During an interview with Fox affiliate WDRB, a hopeful Jeremiah insisted, "Someone has to know something. Someone has to know something." He continued, "I have to have him back. I just need to know that he's safe. That's all I really want to know right now." He also recalled advising his son about internet safety but noted that Jacob would often brush off his concerns. "He gave me the same old song and dance, you know, 'I know, dad, I know,'" he told WDRB. "I told him [to] be very careful [about] what he said about anything in the house or him. He knew. He knew as much as I could tell him."
Unfortunately, on Tuesday morning Harrison County detectives confirmed that Jacob and his dog Isabella had died. "A citizen who saw a post...told police that she may have seen Jacob walking his dog along Interstate 64 heading westbound just after 5 PM on the 21st day of September. Shortly after, Detectives received information from a Harrison County business owner who provided security camera footage displaying what appeared to be a person walking along Interstate 64 just after 5 PM on the 21st, the day Jacob went missing," it read.
Currently, authorities don't suspect any foul play. "Detectives subsequently located the deceased bodies of 14-year-old Jacob McCarty and his dog, Isabella, near a wooded area off of Interstate 64, west of the Harrison County Hospital. Detectives and deputies from the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department along with the Harrison County Coroner and Indiana State Police thoroughly processed and meticulously documented the scene. Detectives do not currently suspect foul play although Jacob’s cause of death will be determined upon completion of an autopsy."