Search for Cleveland, TN teen suspended but investigation contin - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Search for Cleveland, TN teen suspended but investigation continues

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The Cleveland community is still praying hard for a beloved teen missing in Colorado. Nineteen-year-old Joe Keller went missing July 23 in Conejos County, Colorado. Officials there have suspended the search but volunteers are still going.

The Bradley County Sheriff's Office says it offered to send a response team to Colorado but Conejos County declined. Even so, the Bradley Sheriff's Office is still investigating the days leading up to when Joe Keller disappeared.

"I'm just saddened. You know, we don't know where he's at. If we could just get answers," says Tammy McConnell.

McConnell organized a prayer rally for Joseph Keller and his family over the weekend.
 
"I have four children around his age. Two of my kids knew him. And I thought, 'If this was my child how would I deal with this?'"
 
"You can handle what you know but not knowing anything, that's the worst to handle and that's where we're at now," says Keller's cousin Buddy Dilbeck.

The Cleveland community continues to offer support to the family of Keller who went missing on a cross-country trip with friends.
    
He went for a jog in Conejos County, Colorado and disappeared.

Friends describe Joe as a strong athlete and avid runner.
 
"If it was my child out there I'm going to search until I find him," says McConnell.

After more than a week of searching, the Conejos County Sheriff's Office suspended the official search but volunteers are still searching the terrain.

Some volunteers are using drones to do aerial surveillance.
 
"I don't want to eat because Joe may not be eating right now. At night I feel uncomfortable to be comfortable," says McConnell.

Tammy and others say they are not giving up hope and are asking anyone and everyone to pray.
 
"I'm just praying daily that The Lord will send answers to this poor family."
 
"We're believing in a miracle," says Dilbeck.

Bradley County officials have reached out to the FBI to assist in the investigation.

Although Conejos County officials have suspended the official search the investigation into Keller's disappearance is still open.
    
Investigators say they have yet to rule out foul play. 

A release from the Conejos County Sheriff's Office states:

"We have exhausted the search resources available to us for the time being and have uncovered no information that would lead us to believe that continuing to search right now is the best use of resources. If we can uncover new information that warrants resuming the search, we will do so."

According to Sheriff Galvez, there have been several reports of possible sightings, but those leads have not panned out. 

READ MORE | Colorado authorities searching for missing Cleveland man

 

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