Crews face tough conditions in search for missing college student

FRANKLIN, Mass. — Searchers had to pull back some of the dogs and crews Thursday due the to extreme heat as they continued to look for a 20-year-old college student who went missing after a party early Sunday morning.

"The heat today has been horrific," said Sheila Marie, one of the many volunteers in Franklin.

Dozens of people once again headed out to look for Michael Doherty for a fifth day as temperatures soared into the 90’s. They got an early start to beat the and by mid afternoon many of the volunteers were drained.

"But I guess when you have your mind sent on something you can't really pay attention to that," said Marie.

This is just amazing! People have been stopping by all morning dropping off water, food, sunscreen and bug spray for the...

Posted by Boston 25 News on Thursday, May 18, 2017

There was an outpouring of support, with water and food being donated from people all over the area. It's the fifth day of the search and residents are hopeful the Doherty family will get some answers.

MORE: Rescuers from across New England join forces in Franklin

"We are desperately hoping Michael can come home," mother Nancy Doherty said. "That's all we want."
As searchers continue to look for Nancy and Dan Doherty's son, they said not knowing where he is makes the pain even more unbearable.

They reported him missing Sunday afternoon when they realized he never made it home from a neighborhood party. He sent his brothers text messages about staying later.

“At 12:30 a.m. he said, ‘Do you think you could come get me,’” Nancy Doherty said. “They were asleep. One of them, my oldest, didn’t see it until 3:30 a.m.”

MORE: Franklin family 'desperately hoping' for son's safe return

Michael Doherty had just returned home for the summer from Duke University where he was studying engineering. Family said he was planning on spending the summer with his brothers and parents, and even got his old job back at Roache Brothers in Millis.

On Thursday, police focused on a one mile area where Michael's phone last pinged at 1:08 a.m. Sunday. Ribbon and candles marked the area where they believe he entered to take a shortcut home.

MORE: Sneakers, short found while crews search for missing college student

How officers will proceed with the search will now be decided day to day. Ground crews have stopped for the day while environmental police will focus on the waterways along Mine Brook.