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Saturday, January 21, 2017

What Happened to Shane Montgomery?

     In November 2014, 21-year-old Shane Montgomery, a catholic high school graduate from the Roxborough section of Philadelphia, was a senior at nearby West Chester University. On Wednesday night November 26, 2014, Montgomery, his cousin and a couple of friends were barhopping in Philadelphia.

     In the early morning hours of Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, Montgomery and his group were drinking at Kildare's Irish Pub on Main Street in Philadelphia's Manayunk neighborhood. At some point Montgomery got separated from his friends in the crowded bar. At 1:45 AM he accidentally bumped into the DJ's table. The bouncer ordered the student out of the pub. Montgomery apologized and left the premises.

     Montgomery, after he was seen leaving the bar, did not return home. Friends and family were unable to get in touch with him by phone and he didn't show up for Thanksgiving dinner. Concerned, his family filed a missing persons report with the Philadelphia Police Department.

     On Friday November 28, 2014, volunteers circulated missing persons notices around the Manayunk neighborhood. The posters featured a photograph of the missing college student along with a picture of the Celtic cross tattooed across his shoulder blades. The 5-foot-11 inch, 140-pound missing person, when he left the bar, was dressed in jeans and a gray hooded sweatshirt.

     The search for Shane Montgomery included the use of dogs, a helicopter, and boats on the Schuylkill River that flows alongside Manayunk's Main Street. Five-hundred volunteers searched the riverbank, the footpath, and the railroad tracks that run parallel to the street.

     A cellphone tower in Lower Merion Township had picked up a signal from Montgomery's cellphone a little less than an hour after he left Kildare's. The phone itself was not recovered. At the bar, there was no video surveillance footage for detectives to review.

     On Sunday November 30, 2014, a FBI task force joined in the hunt for the missing student. A $10,000 reward was posted for information leading to his whereabouts.

     Shortly after noon on Saturday January 4, 2015, a volunteer diver from the Garden State (New Jersey) Underwater Recovery Unit found Shane Montgomery's body in three feet of water near the Schuylkill riverbank not far from the Manayunk bar where he was last seen. Two weeks earlier a diver from the same unit found Montgomery's car keys in the water near the river bank 800 yards upriver from where his body was recovered.

     Shane Montgomery's uncle, on January 5, 2015, told reporters that the medical examiner's office had completed its autopsy and had ruled the young man's drowning death an accident. 

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