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Frankfurt police say missing American likely fell in Main River

The Local · 18 Dec 2009, 13:01

Published: 18 Dec 2009 13:01 GMT+01:00

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“As of now the missing persons department assumes that Devon Hollahan fell into the Main River in a helpless alcohol-related state,” the police said in a statement. “There are no indications indicating suicide or a crime.”

Devon Hollahan disappeared around 3 am on November 21 from the city’s central Taunusanlange metro station after attending a concert with his friend Josh Friedman. The two had travelled from Prague, where Hollahan worked as an English teacher, to attend a Portugal The Man concert and joined the band for a party afterwards.

Near the station, Friedman turned away from Hollahan to ask directions to the “Frankfurt Hostel,” at which point he told police that his friend disappeared.

Friedman went to the hostel alone and reported Hollahan missing the following day after he didn’t turn up or return phone calls.

In the weeks that followed, the only trace police found of the young man was his backpack, which still contained his personal belongings.

The man’s father, Morgan Stanley financial advisor Jeff Hollahan, launched an international media campaign to find his son, appearing on US news shows and travelling to Frankfurt from his home in Scottsdale, Arizona to aid in the search.

But Friday’s statement from police revealed new details of their search that point to an alcohol related accident.

Witnesses called an ambulance around 4 am, not long after Hollahan went missing, to report a helpless man laying on the pavement on Eschenheimer Straße.

“The helpless person was without a doubt the missing person, who was lying on the sidewalk and was barely articulate,” the statement said.

When the passersby told the man in English that an ambulance was on the way, he jumped up and disappeared, they said.

His rucksack was discovered shortly thereafter by a security worker near Schillerstraße.

The police report said that authorities have searched nearby parks, bodies of water, and metro tunnels, in addition to working with Czech and US authorities to piece together background information on Hollahan.

Story continues below…

Police also appealed to the German public for details of Hollahan’s disappearance on the unsolved crime show Aktenzeichen XY...ungelöst to no avail.

But search dogs followed his scent right to the edge of the Main River, where it “abruptly ended,” the statement said.

Meanwhile a shoe believed to belong to Hollahan was found in a trash container at the Griesheim sluice gate down river, they said.

“Due to this evidence, it is believed likely that Devon Hollahan fell into the Main,” the statement said, adding that investigators would continue to search for the young man.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:31 December 19, 2009 by Weird
But why was the shoe in a trash container..?
15:38 December 19, 2009 by Frenemy
Lets review the facts:

1)conventional police investigation: fruitless

2)technical measures (dredging, methane detectors, etc): fruitless

3)scent trail ends "abruptly" at waters edge (obviously)

4)post-mortem gaseous inflation: would normally result in a "floater"

-and then we have that other little fact-

5)shoe found in trash can.

Authorities have presumably used investigative techniques, dogs, international cooperation and technical mean exhaustively. He's obviously not within the current search grid (at least not in one, un-carbonized piece).

And, as intimated by Weird, there is no logical reason for one of his shoes to be in a trash can. Even if it were in fact his (lost along his drunken way to the water-front, or somehow washed ashore after entering the water), its not as if a hobo/bum under a bridge dispose of it properly due to their sense of civic duty - or some couple taking a romantic walk by the water would say: "oh look honey, a shoe!! we should put that in the nearest trash can"!! (in fact, they would probably spend like 15 min bickering about which recycle bin it belongs in)
16:21 December 19, 2009 by mossmusic
This is not the news I was hoping to hear. But I remain hopeful that we can still find this man. My wish and prayers of course hope he is alright and just wandering around somewhere. Lets never give up hope everyone!
23:45 January 5, 2010 by WAKeele
OK folks, this is how nonsense gets started and ridiculous rumors start. His supposed shoe was not found in a trash can or some random trash receptical. It was found in a trash container at a sluice gate--it clearly states that.

Now a person's ignorance for something is where problems start with any story. Generally there is some type of container or apparatus for sifting out things that could cause damage to the sluice gate and to keep the water flow clear of debris and flowing smoothly. The first post suggests this could be why a body didn't turn up at a sluice gate as well.

With the internet filled with answers to questions--whether correct or not--there's little excuse, except for laziness, for not clearing up something you may not be familiar with. If anything, Wikipedia is always are good place to start--I reiterate, START.

The truth is in the details, and you have to know everything about the details to get the complete picture...
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