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Father of missing autistic 15-year-old says he would never wander off alone

It’s been two weeks since 15-year-old Sebastian Rogers vanished without a trace from his Tennessee home, and there’s still no answer on where the teenager could be.

Sebastian, who is autistic, is believed to have wandered off in the middle of the night barefoot and alone, according to his mother Katie Proudfoot and stepfather Chris Proudfoot, who say they last saw him when they put him to bed. When his mother went to wake him up for school on the morning of 26 February, he was gone.

But Sebastian’s father Seth Rogers says the teenager is not the type to just wander off on his own.

“In order for him to do something that’s out of the normal, something would’ve had to happen that he felt like he just couldn’t deal with it anymore,” Mr Rogers told WTVF in his first interview during a prayer vigil on Sunday.

Sebastian’s disappearance has gripped the hearts of the Hendersonville community from the moment the AMBER Alert was issued.

A massive search for the teenager was launched by the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office which lasted about a week before it was scaled back as they transition to the investigative side of the case, with detectives adding they have “no reason” to believe Sebastian isn’t alive.

Sebastian Rogers has been missing since 26 February (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)
Sebastian Rogers has been missing since 26 February (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

Days later, authorities combed a landfill in Kentucky where the trash from Sebastian’s neighbourhood ended up, but “no leads or evidence” were found.

There has been no trace of Sebastian on video, by witness or scents picked up by any dogs since his disappearance.

But his father believes there are missing pieces to this puzzle.

“With the information that I’ve gotten from Sumner County and TBI and the fact that dogs aren’t 100 percent, they’re not picking up his scent,” he said.

“One dog tracked him to a construction area over there and it just disappeared and it’s confusing. There’s missing pieces to the puzzle and I’m having difficulty solving this.”

Mr Rogers added that it makes “absolutely no sense there’s been no trace of him.”

“I’m hoping he’s still alive,” the father said. “That is my main hope right now.”

Sebastian’s father Seth Rogers said the teenager is not the type to just wander off on his own (NewsChannel 5 Nashville WTVF)
Sebastian’s father Seth Rogers said the teenager is not the type to just wander off on his own (NewsChannel 5 Nashville WTVF)

On Sunday, dozens of people from the community gathered for a prayer vigil at Beech High School in Hendersonville, near where Sebastian was last seen, just down the street from his home. They wore green, Sebastian’s favourite colour.

Sebastian’s mother and stepfather were not at the vigil, but provided a statement that was read aloud:

“We want to let the community know that we don’t have words to express our gratitude for the support for have received in searching for our son. We pray that everyone continues to help search and pray that we find him and bring him home safe.”

Anyone with information on Sebastian’s whereabouts is urged to call Sumner County Sheriff’s Office Detective Carter at 615-442-1865 or bcarter@sumnersheriff.com. Tips can also be provided to Sumner County Emergency Communications at 615-451-3838 or 1-800-TBI-FIND.