Volunteers step of search efforts to find missing Fitchburg teen

Updated:

FITCHBURG, Mass. - Two weeks after 17-year-old Luis Guillen disappeared from his Fitchburg home, police and volunteers are stepping up their efforts to get answers for his family.

At first, Guillen was classified as a runaway, but after he failed to return messages for several days police redoubled their efforts to find him and changed his classification to missing.

“I am going to find my son. We are going to find my son,” Guillen’s mother Judith Mazzaferro said.

The effort to find the 17-year-old is now in the hands of a single detective. 

“We knew we were going in the right direction but this needed a lot of footwork from an investigative standpoint,” Fitchburg Police Chief Ernest Martineau said.

Already, Guillen's family has put in plenty of footwork, traveling to New York and even the Canadian border to try and find their son who disappeared on Sept. 29. 

The family expressed frustration at what it perceived as a less-than-a-full effort by local police – a perception the chief said was understandable but wrong.

“You see that sometimes in families that are under this constant stress of not knowing where their loved one is, they might not feel they are getting all the attention they need,” Martineau said.

Thursday night, the family got attention from other quarters, too. Volunteers assembled at a park to begin a citywide search for Guillen that could last through the weekend. 

“I'm a father. If this was my son missing I'm sure this city and community would come together and help me as well,” volunteer Shain Barnjum said.

Guillen’s mother said she’s touched by the community effort.

“That just comforts my soul and make me feel like people cares even though they don't know my family, they don't know me. People care, and that helps me to continue to stay strong,” Mazzaferro said.

TOP STORIES:

Employee of Waltham after school program charged with child rape

BPD officer accused of stealing cash from evidence, laundering it at casino

Report: MBTA leads in commuter rail breakdowns

Next Up: