SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As the search for missing Samantha Humphrey continues, family and friends have also joined in the effort to find the 14-year-old, all while fearing the worst.
The search for Samantha is now in its fourth day, and it has become a heartbreaking situation for her family and her grandparents, John and Dianne Matarazzo. “You read about it,” said John “You hear about it with other people. But you never think it’s going to happen to you. That’s the thing.” His wife Dianne shared with NEWS10’s Anya Tucker that the New York State Troopers searching the water told her they were committed to finding her granddaughter. “As long as there’s a chance she’s there. And that’s where I think she is. I just want her back. “
For days, Schenectady Police and NYSP have searched the Mohawk River and its banks. Helicopters could be seen flying low along the waterway and drones high in the sky above. But so far, there’s been no sign of the 9th grader.
It was by the river in the Stockade area of the city that police say Samantha was last seen around 11:30 p.m. Friday. Her grandparents say the teen had met up with an ex-boyfriend. “They came down here, I guess. That’s the last…” John said as his voice trailed off a bit. “They found her jacket. But her phone, we can’t find that. I just bought her a brand-new phone, and she wouldn’t be 2 inches away from her phone,” he added.
Schenectady Police tell NEWS10 that Samantha’s cellphone was pinged in the area. They say they have conducted several interviews and spoken with the ex-boyfriend, who John and Dianne say is around Samantha’s own age. But minus any sign of the teen, family friends have also taken to searching for her as well as sharing the girl’s photo with anyone who might have some insight as to where she might be.
“She could be anywhere. She could be along the bank; she could be walking the street. That’s the problem with the whole story. We don’t know what happened to her,” John said. Samantha’s grandparents say she had her struggles but was in almost daily contact with them and her brother until Friday evening. They insist she would not have hurt herself.
Samantha Humphrey was last seen wearing a black and pink puffy jacket, with bell-bottom jeans and tan Timberland boots. She is described as 4’11” and 95 pounds.
If you know anything about her disappearance, you’re asked to contact Schenectady Police.
The Director of Communications for Schenectady County sent NEWS10 this statement:
“Schenectady County has a team of licensed therapists who are trained in crisis response that are ready to serve the community when the need arises. The team and their professional partners are on standby, ready to quickly mobilize to support families, friends and students should their services be requested by the Schenectady City School District. In crisis situations, parents and caregivers are encouraged to check in on children regularly to ask what they are thinking and feeling and to let them talk about it and ask questions. Supporting and connecting kids to the proper support services can also help reduce negative emotional impact. A list of resources, including guidance for parents and caregivers, is available at www.schenectadycounty.com/community-services/resources.”
The Schenectady City School District said in-part:
“In a situation such as this, even just listening to the news or reading about situations on social media can be extremely distressing for children and the district wants to make sure that our students have people and a space to discuss their thoughts and feelings. Our Student Support Services staff are available for any student who is in need, and we strongly encourage them to talk about what they are feeling with their school social workers, counselors, and psychologists.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Samantha and her family at this incredibly difficult time.”