The Disappearance of Michael McClain

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EARLY LIFE:

Michael McClain grew up in Stamford, Connecticut with a loving family. His mother, Paula Judkins, and his father, Edward McClain, adored their son and were extremely close to him. Paula referred to Michael as the “sunshine” of her life, and Edward would ensure he kept in close contact with his son, even after he moved to Manchester, New Hampshire.

Those who knew Michael describe him as having been full of life. He was the jokester amongst his friends, and he was known to enjoy sports, particularly basketball. Upon graduating high school in 2008, he attended Hesser College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Upon moving to Manchester, Michael was able to secure a job with the Easterseals, a non-profit organization that works with youth who have disabilities. Michael, specifically, worked with children with autism, and he’s said to have been a great role model for them.

LEAD UP TO DISAPPEARANCE:

On the evening on April 20, 2019, Michael travelled to Nashua, New Hampshire, where he and two friends spent the night at the Tropical Lounge nightclub, located at 14 West Hollis Street. While there, an altercation broke out in the parking lot between two young women, one of whom he was an acquaintance of. Michael did his best to try to diffuse the situation, but the crowd didn’t disperse until the police arrived around 1:45am, in the early hours of April 21.

DISAPPEARANCE:

The last time anyone heard from Michael was just after he’d left the Tropical Lounge. He is said to have called his boss, saying, “They’re after me. More than one.” The two were close and she would often pick him up after a night out. However, when she tried to call him back, he did not respond. He also sent three texts to his neighbour, which read, “HELP LOL OUR”, “what stood aloof” and “Eldridge bro”. He’s believed to be referencing Eldridge Street in the latter text, as the street is located near the nightclub. That same night, his friends tried for approximately 45 minutes to reach him over text. When he didn’t respond, they returned to Manchester.

Michael didn’t show up to work on April 22, which was out of the ordinary for him. He also didn’t contact his mother or grandmother over the Easter weekend, nor did he call his sister on her birthday. This struck the family as odd, especially since any incoming calls to his cellphone went directly to voicemail.

SEARCH:

Edward has publicly stated that his son would not have walked away from his life or his loved ones, as he was close with the family. He especially would not have left without first telling Paula of his plans.

The friends Michael was with the night he was last seen spoke with police and told them they’d got separated during the aforementioned altercation. Given this, Edward believes he could have let on foot, as his car had been parked at his friend’s house on Orange Street in Nashua.

Hoping to gleam an insight into his last movements, investigators took a look at Michael’s cellphone records. They learnt it last pinged 0.4 miles from the nightclub, near the 24-hour McDonald’s restaurant on 45 East Hollis Street at around 2:00am on April 21. When they looked through his texts to his neighbour and the garbled nature of them, it was decided Michael had likely used text dictation to send them. It’s currently unclear if they were his own words or those of the people responsible for his disappearance.

According to reports, Michael saw an acquaintance while travelling toward McDonald’s. According to this witness, he’d made no attempt to tell them he was in distress and he appeared to have been waiting for a ride.

There is surveillance footage of Michael near the McDonald’s on East Hollis Street on April 21. There is also footage from the nearby Riverfront Landing Apartment Complex on 11 Bancroft Street that same night. Timestamped 3:30am, it showed him entering and exiting the complex’s parking garage, located toward the rear of the building. He is also said to have stopped into a convenience store on East Hollis Street in order to make a call, but it’s unknown if he placed any calls from this location.

Paula and Edward have traveled from Connecticut to New Hampshire numerous time in order to search for Michael and talk to people about the case. They have searched nearby wooded areas, alleyways and in larger water sources, as well as along highways and underpasses. They have also went door-to-door and have questioned those who work at businesses located near where Michael was last seen.

There has been no activity on Michael’s social media accounts, nor on his credit cards since his disappearance.

There are reports that investigators have concluded Michael drowned in the Merrimack River, but his family doesn’t believe this to be the case, as his body has never been recovered and he is known to have been a good swimmer.

In September 2019, volunteers with LostNMissing, a national non-profit organization based in Londonderry, New Hampshire, helped the family put up hundreds of posters, in the hope of getting those with information to come forward. A candlelight vigil was also held, with attendees wearing t-shirts with his name, picture and the hashtag #BringMikeHome on them.

While investigators have remained tight-lipped about the case, they have said it remains open and that all leads are being followed up on. They have spoken with every witness involved in the altercation at the nightclub, as well as Michael’s associates and friends. While there has been a lot of social media speculation and false leads, they have not been able to determine if anything suspicious or criminal in nature occurred. As of April 2020, they have not received any recent tips.

Edward says he’s only received brief updates from investigators. He shares that the family doesn’t feel the police are doing enough to solve the case and they are therefore incredibly frustrated. Edward, in particular, feels they haven’t fully looked into all aspects of Michael’s disappearance.

AFTERMATH:

Numerous vigils have been held in order to help raise awareness about the case.

Paula believes her son is alive and will eventually come home, while Edward has shared that he finds it hard to do everyday tasks because he’s constantly thinking of Michael.

The children Michael worked with at Easterseals continue to think and ask about him.

CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:

Michael McClain went missing from West Hollis Street in Nashua, New Hampshire on April 21, 2019. He was 29 years old, and what he was last wearing has not been publicly released. At the time of his disappearance, he was of a medium build, standing at 5’10” and weighing 190 pounds. His brown hair was worn in braids and he has brown eyes, but is known to wear green contacts. Both his ears are pierced, and he was last seen with a goatee-style beard. He has various tattoos on his hands and forearms.

Those with information regarding the case are asked to contact the Nashua Police Department at 603-594-3583 or 603-594-3500. Tips can also be called into the Manchester Police Department at 603-668-8711.

Image Credit: True Case Files

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