Family fears worst after man abandons car in Hueston Woods, now 2-weeks missing

Family searching for missing Hamilton man

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A Hamilton man suddenly disappeared two weeks ago, leaving his family desperate for answers as they search for him.

Michael McKenney, 29, was staying with his aunt when he went missing on May 22, says McKenney’s mother, Yalonda Middleton.

“He packed his clothes and left her house and didn’t tell anyone,” Middleton said.

Middleton says her son leaves to go camping often. The campgrounds had just reopened the day before he went missing.

“He just loved to walk and fish. He just loved the outdoors.”

At first McKenney’s family wasn’t concerned. Then they got a disturbing call from Park Rangers at Hueston Woods on Memorial Day.

The rangers had found his vehicle locked up and abandoned in the park with his cell phone still inside.

The family, along with park rangers and Texas EquuSearch, searched trails and the water for four days without any signs of where he could be.

Now McKenney’s mom is fearing the worst: “That I’m never going to see him again,” Middleton said through tears.

She says what haunts her most is that during the search the dogs appeared to pick up her son’s scent near a water drain.

“They don’t have the machinery to get in there to see, to empty it out to make sure nothing’s in there. I don’t want to think that way, I just want to know," she said.

Now Middleton is asking anyone who might know something to come forward.

“Just let us know he’s okay. That’s all we want to know,” said Middleton.

The family is expected to go back out to Hueston Woods again Thursday morning to do another search. They are inviting anyone who would like to help to join them.

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