Topsham teen returns home after three-day search

Posted May 23, 2014, at 11:19 a.m.
Last modified May 23, 2014, at 4:38 p.m.
Matthew Plutchak
Courtesy Topsham Police Department
Matthew Plutchak

TOPSHAM, Maine — Topsham teen Matthew Plutchak, for whom police have searched since he was reported missing Tuesday night, returned home safely at about 3:30 p.m. Friday.

“We got a call that he was walking on [Route] 201, and an officer located him with friends,” Topsham Police Officer Mark McDonald said. “He made contact and his dad said, ‘Have him come home.’”

Plutchak, 16, did not say where he had been, according to McDonald.

“Our main concern was that he was safe, his psychological status seemed to be OK, and Dad was OK,” he said. “Dad has since called us and thanked us.”

Plutchak was reported missing from his home on Parliament Circle in Topsham by his parents at approximately 10:45 p.m. Tuesday.

The teen left a note for his father saying he was leaving “and needed a couple of days to clear his head,” Topsham Police Chief Christopher Lewis said Friday. “The feeling was that he was going to go for a walk in the woods, and if he was emotional and in the woods in the middle of the night, he could get turned around really quickly.”

Police deployed a search team and tracking dog to the wooded area near his home Wednesday morning.

Investigators called off that search after later receiving a report that Plutchak was instead spotted on Main Street the previous night, and that he had told an acquaintance he was waiting to be picked up by someone.

At about 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sagadahoc County Communications used a reverse-911 call to alert Topsham residents to be on the lookout for Plutchak, according to Officer Mark McDonald.

Lewis said Friday morning that a Topsham detective spoke to an adult in Bath who said he had seen Plutchak in the area within the previous 24 hours. Other reports indicated Plutchak was “moving from one house to another in the Bath area,” but police continued the search because they had not yet made contact with the teen. Lewis said police had determined that Plutchak had run away.

McDonald said no charges would be filed.

“It’s a lot of misuse of resources because of his decision not to come home, but that happens every day,” he said. “For us, this is a happy return.”

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