Father of missing teen: 'He's out there somewhere'
The father of a teen who vanished nearly two weeks ago isn't giving up hope the boy will be found alive and well.
"We're going to bring our son home. He's out there somewhere," Steve Crisp said Saturday as about 400 volunteer searchers trudged through mud and rain for the missing boy.
Brandon, 15, has been missing since Oct. 13, when he stormed out of his parents' house.
They had had cut him off from access to the Xbox game "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare" after he skipped school on Oct. 9.
Volunteers are searching for the teen near Barrie, and have found several items in a wooded area near the location where he was last seen.
But it's not known if the items were linked to the boy's disappearance. Searchers are expected to resume their efforts on Sunday.
The civilian search effort radiated outward this weekend from Burl's Creek Family Event Park in Oro-Medonte Township, which is just west of the teen's last known location.
The civilian search is just north of the police search zone.
Ed Nicol, a retired engineer from Barrie, said he signed up to help with the search because he has a grandson who, like Brandon, spends hours every day playing video games.
"I feel that if I can volunteer and help in any way here, I can pass this onto my grandson and suggest he gets off computers and does some other stuff," said Nicol.
There is a $50,000 reward for information that helps find Brandon. Microsoft, which produces the Xbox video game console, has contributed about $30,000 to that effort.
Police have said they don't know if Brandon ran away or was abducted. He had been obsessively spending several hours per day playing games online, sometimes with friends but also with strangers.
Steve Crisp, the father of the missing teen, has appealed to the "highest levels of Microsoft" to cut through red tape so police can investigate a videogame system which could reveal his whereabouts.
Police have been working with Microsoft to decipher the names and locations of some 200 users that Brandon had tagged on his Xbox, said Crisp.
But he said that regulations and police protocol could slow the process.