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Shirt, shoes belonging to missing Duke student found in Franklin

Franklin police were on scene searching for missing 20-year-old Michael Doherty in Franklin yesterday. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Authorities used trained scent dogs to search the area near Maplegate Country Club in Franklin on Tuesday as they continued looking for a Duke University student who was last seen leaving a friend’s house early Sunday.

Michael Doherty, 20, failed to return home after attending a gathering on Phyllis Lane on Sunday, Franklin police said. The department, along with other law enforcement agencies, on Monday searched swampy areas near Phyllis Lane without locating Doherty.

However, Deputy Police Chief James Mill said searchers recovered a shirt and a sneaker that belonged to Doherty on one side of Oak Street Extension, Mill said. The other sneaker was found a few hundred yards away by State Police.


Doherty’s parents, who reported him missing early Sunday afternoon, have been present at the search every day, Mill said. Police have interviewed 20 to 30 people who attended the Sunday gathering to piece together a timeline, he said.

The search on Tuesday included State Police, members of the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council, and Environmental Police, as well as personnel from the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mill said.

State Police had 20 troopers from the Special Emergency Response Team searching woods and marshy areas in Franklin along with six divers on scene, two K-9 teams, and a helicopter, according to spokesman David Procopio.

Authorities also scoured nearby bodies of water in small boats. Multiple drones were also used, Mill said.

Doherty is a rising junior at Duke University, according to The Chronicle, the student-run campus newspaper. Doherty attends the Pratt School of Engineering and is a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, the newspaper reported.

He was last seen wearing a blue Nike T-shirt, black pants, and sneakers. He is white, stands about 5 feet, 10 inches tall, and has brown hair and brown eyes.


Cristela Guerra can be reached at cristela.guerra@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @CristelaGuerra.