DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio --The search for a missing man at the Berlin Lake Wildlife Area has been suspended until Saturday morning.
A large group of about 60 people spent Friday afternoon and evening searching the area in Portage County for Jeffrey J. Hathaway, 45, of Norton. He was last seen Wednesday morning around 11:30 a.m. His girlfriend reported him missing Wednesday night.
Hathaway's car had been located in a parking lot off Fewtown Road. A deputy with the Portage County Sheriff's Department noticed the car after it had been parked in the same place the past two days.
After he ran the license plates, the deputy was notified that Hathaway owned it and had been reported missing. The search for him began Friday afternoon.
“It’s unusual and we have no idea what happened,” said Portage County Sheriff Dave Doak.
Hathaway’s family members are also baffled.
“It’s very unusual. It’s very atypical,” said Matt Hathaway, Jeffrey’s son. ”Even talking to Angie, his girlfriend, she was very upset, distraught, says he always calls if he’s gonna be gone.”
Hathaway is described as being 6'2" with blonde hair and blue eyes and weighing 220 pounds.
Several local fire departments along with Urban Search and Rescue, the Army Corps of Engineers, Red Cross and Ohio Department of Natural Resources assisted with Friday's search.
The park lands consist of more than 8,500 acres of dense woods and swamplands.
“When you walk through a forest -- the trees all start looking the same after a while,” said ODNR Officer Aaron Brown.
Jeffrey’s family said he knew the area but did not go there often.
Matt said he hopes rescuers can find him soon, or if someone knows his whereabouts that they report it right away.
“Just that we love him and miss him and want to know where he is,” said Matt.
The search resumes 10 a.m. Saturday morning.
Anyone with information about Hathaway's whereabouts is asked to call Lt. Greg Johnson at 330-296-5100.