PHILADELPHIA » The mother of a West Chester University student who disappeared on Thanksgiving after a night out with friends tearfully thanked searchers Saturday after her son’s body was pulled from the Schuylkill River, less than half a mile downstream from where he was last seen.
"Today we have done what we promised. We found and brought Shane home," Karen Montgomery told reporters under a light rain near the riverbank.
Her voice cracked as she thanked everyone involved in the search and asked that the family’s privacy be respected as they mourned their loss.
Shane Montgomery’s parents say the body pulled from the water Saturday was his, but authorities had not yet confirmed the identity pending a review by the Philadelphia medical examiner’s office.
Shane, a 21-year-old senior at West Chester, had been out with friends until the early-morning hours of Thanksgiving and never made it home. His mother has said he was escorted out of Kildare’s Irish Pub in the city’s lively Manayunk neighborhood around 2 a.m.
FBI Supervisory Special Agent J.J. Klaver said Saturday a body was recovered behind the Manayunk Brew Pub, less than a 10-minute walk from Kildare’s.
WCAU-TV reports that Montgomery’s family watched as the New Jersey-based Garden State Underwater Recovery Unit removed the 21-year-old’s body from the water.
In addition to city police and the FBI, hundreds of volunteers helped search for Montgomery and posted fliers about his disappearance. A candlelight vigil drew a large crowd to the university’s student union building in early December, and contributions from the family, police and Kildare’s pushed the reward fund to $65,000.
Divers found Montgomery’s keys along the river on Dec. 21.
Last month, his mother spoke at the vigil of the family’s frustration.
"The frustrating part is that there are no leads — no one knows what happened to him," she said. "It’s a nightmare I can’t wake up from."