Rescuers from across New England join forces in Franklin search

FRANKLIN, Mass. — Dozens of police departments from every corner of the state have been joining in on the intensive search for Michael Doherty.

But it’s just not authorities -- people from all over have been compelled to do what they can to help.

One man drove up from Rhode Island to help crews in any way possible as they work to find out what happened to Doherty Sunday morning, and hopefully find him.

“If I get a little wet that’s alright,” 62-year-old William DeRosa from Cranston said. “It hurts, a young kid like that. All of a sudden boom, he’s gone.”

DeRosa doesn’t have any connection to Franklin or Doherty’s family, but he said he couldn’t sit back any longer.

“This could happen to any family,” he said.

The retired bus driver said he has a knack for helping others. Ten years ago, he was featured in a newspaper for rescuing his neighbor off a roof. But he’s now learning firsthand the search for Doherty is a far more daunting task.

“Where else can he be?”

That same question is also consuming neighbors, who have been watching crews search for the last four days.

“It could happen to anybody any given time you never know the minute,” Laura Flaherty said.

Flaherty and others in the neighborhood are now putting up blue and white ribbons around the area, the colors of Duke University where Doherty attends school.

“You could tell at that young age he had his stuff together. I told him, ‘you’re going to be a president,” she said.

Everyone is pulling together to find any signs of the missing 20-year-old, while also reassuring his family how much they’re loved.