KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — The search is continuing for two missing Landing School students after the discovery of clothing belonging to one on rocks on a small island off Cape Porpoise on Monday.
One of the articles of clothing is “marked in such a way as to indicate ownership to one of the missing men,” Police Chief Craig A. Sanford said in a statement released Monday.
The statement did not say whether the clothes belonged to Prescott Wright, 23, of Barnstable, Mass., or Zachary Wells, 21, of Burlington, Vt. The men were last seen at Wells’ residence, an antique Cape house situated near marshes and a sheltered bay at 5 Mills Road in Kennebunkport.
The Maine Marine Patrol, which found the clothes, Maine Warden Service, and the Kennebunkport Police Department are continuing their search for the two men. Searchers had never overlooked the possibility that the two men went into the water before their disappearance, Sanford said.
The house is close to Sampson Cove, and there’s a pier down the road, said Sara Willicka of the Cape Porpoise Kitchen, also on Mills Road, where Wright has dropped in occasionally for sandwiches.
Friends told police that Wright and Wells were part of a small gathering of friends Thursday drinking beer and possibly other liquor, Sanford said. They may have been intoxicated, but it was not like “an outrageous frat party,” he said.
Somebody noticed that the men were missing around 4 a.m., Sanford said.
According to a report by WCVB, only one of the men had a vehicle, which was still in the driveway.
After Landing School officials notified authorities Friday that the men had not been in class for two days, police and other searchers looked for them at roadsides, in marshes and in tidal markers along the coastline, Sanford said.
He said family and friends of the two men have arrived from their hometowns and possibly are hiring a private investigator.
“They are desperate parents,” Sanford said.
Wright’s parents live in Cummaquid and Barnstable.
A Coast Guard helicopter searched the nearby waters, and a Maine Warden Service plane joined the effort Sunday, he said.
The seas had been too rough for the Maine Marine Patrol to launch a boat, but one is out Monday, Sanford said.
The disappearance of the two young men has rattled the Landing School, whose total enrollment is 70 students with an average age of 27, school President Robert DeColfmacker said in a phone interview.
Wright has been studying yacht design, while Wells has been taking courses on marine systems, he said.
“It’s a close group of friends and classmates,” DeColfmacker said. “We’re all very concerned. We’re very worried about their welfare.”
Photos of Wright on his Facebook page indicate his love of the sea, showing him on boats and, in one shot, holding two live lobsters.
Friday was the last day of classes before the Christmas break, DeColfmacker said. He said he hopes when students return, it will be to good news about Wright and Wells.
“Both of them are outgoing, friendly students,” he said.
Wright is described as 6 feet, 4 inches tall, with brown hair, blue eyes and weighing about 200 pounds.
Wells is described as 5 feet, 8 inches, with black hair and hazel eyes. He weighs about 150 pounds.
Anyone with information about the men should call Kennebunkport police at 967-2454.
Information from the Cape Cod Times was included in this report.