CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — It’s almost as if a Chesapeake man disappeared into thin air. Nathan Read has been missing for 12 years, but the wounds are still fresh for his family.
More than anything, Read’s parents wants to know what happened to him, and if he’s still alive.
“I wonder what happened to him,” said Read’s mother, Helena Read. “He totally vanished! There has never been a lead in this case, nothing.”
The last time Helena saw her son was at his father’s house on Overbrook Avenue in Chesapeake on August 17,2002. Nathan Read was 23-years-old at the time. Police say he left his home with identification and no money.
“I remember he stuck his head in the door and said, ‘I’m going for a bicycle ride,’ and that was it,” Helena Read said.
Read was never seen again. Over the years, his parents grew even more worried because Nathan is schizophrenic and cannot live on his own. Helena said Nathan has run off in the past, but he always came back home.
“The first thing I thought was, ‘Oh, well they are going to arrest him somewhere.’ That is usually the normal procedure for a mentally ill person,” she said.
Then, on Labor Day weekend 2002, police found Read’s bike locked up on the boardwalk at the Oceanfront. The discovery only deepened the mystery.
“I thought, ‘maybe someone stole the bike and took it there’,” said Helena Read. “Maybe he took it there. Everything was a maybe.”
Months have turned to years now, and Read’s family still worries like his disappearance happened yesterday.
“As a mother, it is the worst thing that can happen to a parent,” said Helena Read.
For years, Helena searched shelters, scoured states and streets looking for her son — with no luck.
“I’m always hoping that he will come back or somebody will turn him in or he will return,” she said.
Investigators tell 10 On Your Side no one has used Nathan’s ID or stolen his identity. They believe something is keeping him from coming home and picking up on the life he left behind.
“I keep hoping,” said Helena Read. “Of course, it is difficult. It’s horrendously difficult.”
Nathan is 5’9 and 140 pounds. He was last seen wearing shorts, boat shoes, a t-shirt, and a headband. Police say it’s possible he may be going by a different name.
If you have any information on Nathan’s whereabouts contact Detective Branch with the Chesapeake Police Department at 757-382-8458.