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Frankfurt police say missing American likely fell in Main River

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Frankfurt police say missing American likely fell in Main River
Photo: Jeff Hollahan
13:01 CET+01:00
Frankfurt police said on Friday they believe a 22-year-old American man who went missing last month probably fell into the Main River in an alcohol-related accident.

“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.

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.

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