What started as a celebration has turned into a desperate search for a missing person.
Zachary Marr had just turned 22 on Wednesday, and the young man from the town of Harvard was looking forward to a night out in Boston with his cousins over the weekend, his family said.
The group spent Friday night into early Saturday at the Bell in Hand Tavern, near Faneuil Hall, where Marr was last seen standing outside around 1:50 a.m. after smoking a cigarette. He eventually wandered off without a coat — and his family said they have not heard from him since.
“I want to know that he’s OK,” said his cousin, Amanda Marr, 25, of South Boston, who organized the weekend get-together. “I want to make sure that he’s not hurt and that he’s safe and warm.”
Boston police are working with investigators in Harvard to locate Marr.
“I dropped him off at the train [station]; he was psyched,” his father, Matthew Marr, said in a phone interview Monday.
The beginning of the year already was difficult for the family. Zachary Marr’s paternal grandmother died in January from breast cancer, the family said. Marr helped care for her, and she lived near the family home.
“He was very, very close with our grandma,” Amanda Marr said. “They had a special relationship.”
The family had planned to clean out his grandmother’s apartment on the Saturday that Zachary went missing, Amanda Marr said. Later that evening, Zachary’s birthday celebration would resume with cake at his father’s home.
“It was like a de-stressor to get out and spend happy times with his cousins,” said his aunt Lisa Karanikolas, 53, who noted Marr is a student at Mount Wachusett Community College and a full-time employee at Quiet Logistics, a technology-based retail provider. “They were having a great time. We’re just at a loss as to what could have happened in such a short span of time.”
Amanda Marr said she picked up Zachary at North Station at 6 p.m. Friday, and the two drove back to her apartment in South Boston, where she prepared dinner for him: chicken, chips, guacamole, and hummus.
She said they had a drink before leaving to go to the Bell in Hand at about 10 p.m. She said Zachary Marr stepped out to smoke a cigarette several times.
At 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Zachary sent Marr a text that he was going out for a smoke, she said. About five minutes later, she said, he sent her a Snapchat saying that bar staff was not letting him back in.
During a brief text exchange, Zachary told her he was “out front.” At 1:50 a.m., Amanda Marr and the rest of the group made their way outside, but Zachary Marr was nowhere to be found, she said.
“I was trying to stay calm,” she said. “Maybe he went for a walk.”
Another cousin searched around the corner and found no sign of him.
Amanda said she figured Zachary might have spotted a friend or met a woman, but she thought she’d hear from him later that day.
By 10 a.m. on Saturday there was still no word from her cousin. She said she contacted police and took to canvassing the area, where she got surveillance videos that place Zachary Marr in front of Boston Public Market, near the bar, at 1:40 a.m.
In a statement on its Facebook page Monday, the Bell in Hand denied that Zachary was prohibited from reentering the bar, citing video from the scene. It said other video shows that Zachary was seen heading toward the surface artery.
The statement also expresses wishes that he be found soon and said that the bar is cooperating with authorities.
On Monday, family and friends planned to distribute fliers asking for the public’s help, and a social media campaign to find him had already been launched.
“We’re waiting for that one phone call,” said his father, Matthew Marr.
“I love you,” he said speaking to his son, wherever he might be. “Just please call . . . anything just to hear your voice.”
Zachary Marr is about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weights about 175 pounds. He was last seen wearing dark jeans, a blue sweatshirt, and black sneakers.
Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to contact District A-1 detectives at 617-343-4571 or Harvard police Sergeant John Coates at 978-456-1212.Globe correspondent Mackenzie Cummings-Grady contributed to this report. Jan Ransom can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @Jan_Ransom. Globe correspondent Mackenzie Cummings-Grady contributed to this report. Jan Ransom can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Jan_Ransom.