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Sebastian Rogers: United Cajun Navy search called off after parents meet investigators

After members received death threats, a non-profit organisation helping in the search for Sebastian Rogers in Tennessee said on Monday that it was now working privately with his family.

In an interview with The Independent, United Cajun Navy spokesperson Kevin LaFond also addressed rumours that the group was a “scam”.

“The word hurtful comes up. The other is uninformed,” Mr LaFond said of those accusations. “Folks that know the United Cajun Navy know that there’s proof in our words everywhere and it’s not hard to find it.”

The group was called in by the 15-year-old’s father and other members of the community, after the search for him stretched over a month.

Sebastian disappeared overnight on 25 February, with his mother Katie Proudfoot finding his bed empty the following morning.

Sebastian’s parents met with law enforcement on Thursday, as the search for him neared five weeks.

His dad said he could not discuss what the meeting was about, but insisted that he still has hope that his son is out there somewhere.

“I don’t know if he’s been abducted or if he’s just over at a friend’s house, but I’ll know when I find him exactly what has happened to him,” Seth Rogers told Fox 17.

After over a week without any law enforcement update, Sumner County Sheriff’s Office is expected to hold a media briefing on Tuesday morning.

Key points

  • United Cajun Navy calls off search for Sebastian Rogers after death threats

  • When did Sebastian Rogers go missing?

  • Sebastian’s parents meet with law enforcement

  • Missing Sebastian Rogers’ mother believes someone has her son

What we know about Sebastian’s disappearance

Thursday 28 March 2024 12:45 , Phil Thomas

It’s now more than a month since Sebastian was last seen at his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee on 26 February.

The search operation has involved helicopters, drones, search-and-rescue dogs, and teams on foot, and last week was extended to a landfill site across the state line in Kentucky.

Search teams have been playing the 15-year-old’s favourite song, “Eye of the Tiger”, as they look for him in the hope of attracting his attention.

The teenager, who has high-functioning autism, may have left his mother and stepfather’s house barefoot, investigators believe.

Anyone with information on Sebastian’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact Sumner County Sheriff’s Office Detective Carter at 615-442-1865 or bcarter@sumnersheriff.com.

Tips can also be provided to Sumner County Emergency Communications at 615-451-3838 or 1-800-TBI-FIND.

Here’s what we know about Sebastian’s disappearance so far:

What we know about disappearance of Sebastian Rogers in Tennessee

Sebastian’s mother believes someone has her son

Thursday 28 March 2024 13:02 , Phil Thomas

Katie Proudfoot, Sebastian’s mother, has said she fears someone has taken her son, insisting the 15-year-old would not have wandered off alone.

She told the podcast Crime Stories with Nancy Grace: “I feel like if he had been close to the house, or had walked off, that we would have found him by now with as many people as have been searching.”

Ms Proudfoot said she heard a “thud” on the night of Sebastian’s disappearance, called out to him and then told him to go to bed when he responded.

Dan Gooding has the full story:

Missing Sebastian Rogers’ mother believes someone has her son

Sebastian’s dad says he needs his son back

Thursday 28 March 2024 15:02 , Dan Gooding

Seth Rogers spoke with local news outlet WKRN on Wedneday, saying he was grateful for the United Cajun Navy in showing up to help him.

“I feel like I am carrying the weight of the world, and all the sudden I got somebody standing behind me, helping me hold that up,” Mr Rogers explained.

He has been out most days searching for the 15-year-old since his disappearance over a month ago.

“I am asking the world to help me find my son,” Mr Rogers told the outlet. “I need my son back.”

Audio gives insight into first few hours of search

Thursday 28 March 2024 16:08 , Dan Gooding

Newly released audio has given new insight into the moments after Sebastian disappeared.

The archive dispatch call from Sumner County Sheriff’s Office has been widely shared over the past 24 hours, with the dispatcher heard explaining that the 15-year-old’s mother was out looking for him.

“We have a missing juvenile… This morning the 15-year-old was not in the bed,” the officer is heard saying in the broken audio from around 6.20am on 26 February.

They then describe Sebastian, who may have been wearing a black sweatshirt and black sweatpants, adding that he had never disappeared from the home in Hendersonville before.

“The mother is driving around looking for him… she is driving a blue Infinity,” the dispatcher tells officers.

The Independent has approached Sumner County Sheriff’s Office for further comment.

What are law enforcement doing?

Thursday 28 March 2024 18:30 , Mike Bedigan

 (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)
(Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

In its latest update on Friday 22 March, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation addressed frustrations expressed by some after they scaled back their search.

“Much of the work being done to track down information about where Sebastian may have gone is not something you will necessarily see in the public. But we want you to know that every day, work is being done to find Sebastian,” the TBI said in a press release.

The Bureau said it was following up on any tips it received on the case and urged locals to keep on checking their land for signs of the boy.

Watch: Sebastian Rogers's father asks for the world to 'help him find his son'

Thursday 28 March 2024 18:55 , Mike Bedigan

Third of autistic kids who wander are trying to escape stressful situation

Thursday 28 March 2024 19:15 , Mike Bedigan

An autism expert has explained that Sebastian’s special needs would likely be affecting him greatly.

Speaking to Nancy Grace, Courtney Lasky from Little Stars Therapy said that children typically have deficits with communication and social skills.

“If, in fact, he is with someone else who does not know him well, that would be entirely out of his routine, he could be engaging in behaviours which he has not engaged in before, he could be looking for an escape, a way to get out of those adverse situations,” Ms Lasky said.

She added that not every autistic child will wander, but that 36% of those who do are doing so to get away from a stressful or difficult situation.

A month-long Amber Alert

Thursday 28 March 2024 20:15 , Mike Bedigan

It’s a month since the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation posted this to its X account, announcing that an Amber Alert had been issued for Sebastian Rogers.

It is one of only two active alerts nationwide, with the other being for missing Wisconsin 3-year-old Elijah Vue, who has also not been seen for a month.

The story so far: Frantic searches and emotional interviews

Thursday 28 March 2024 21:00 , Mike Bedigan

From a pond being drained, to a reward for information and a mother’s tearful interview, the search for Sebastian has now passed the one-month mark.

Here is a rundown of the story so far:

A timeline of the disappearance of 15-year-old Sebastian Rogers

Sebastian’s home was searched ‘at least’ ten times

Thursday 28 March 2024 21:45 , Mike Bedigan

Sebastian’s mother defends leaving area after son’s disappearance

Friday 29 March 2024 06:10 , Mike Bedigan

Katie Proudfoot, mother of missing teenager Sebastian Rogers has defended her decision to leave the area where her son was last seen, shortly after his disappearance.

Ms Proudfoot drove three hours away from her home to meet up with her husband and Sebastian’s stepfather, Chris Proudfoot, but said it was due to having received “threatening and hateful” messages from strangers.

“We are posting fliers every direction we can,” she told Fox and Friends on Thursday morning.

“But at the same time, there were quite a bit of people that were sending some very threatening and hateful messages to us. They’re following us. They’re driving past our house at all hours of the day or night, disturbing the neighborhood, and the neighborhood is very upset and concerned. They’re worried about their safety at this point.”

Ms Proudfoot added that she felt that leaving the neighborhood would help calm things down.

Sebastian’s dad says he is hoping for ‘Easter miracle'

Friday 29 March 2024 13:24 , Dan Gooding

In a new interview on Thursday, Seth Rogers said he was hoping for an Easter miracle, as the search for his son reaches five weeks long.

Wearing a t-shirt with Sebastian’s face on, Mr Rogers described himself as a “walking handout” for a missing persons poster.

He was asked by Fox 17 reporter Kaitlin Miller what kept him out searching each day.

“Being a dad,” He said. “Having perseverance, wanting him to come home, wanting to watch him finish growing up.”

WATCH: Sebastian’s mother said she has been crying for a month

Friday 29 March 2024 15:11 , Dan Gooding

Sebastian’s parents have met with law enforcement

Friday 29 March 2024 16:08 , Dan Gooding

As the search rumbles on, Sebastian’s father Seth Rogers, mother Katie Proudfoot and stepfather Chris Proudfoot all met with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on Thursday.

Mr Rogers told a local reporter that he could not share what was discussed but that he came away from the meeting feeling positive.

“Oh I always have hope. Can’t take that away from me,” Mr Rogers said, adding that he believes his son is playing video games somewhere and has no idea about the ongoing search for him.

Read more here.

Searches called off due to ‘security concerns'

Friday 29 March 2024 16:50 , Dan Gooding

A group organising searches for Sebastian says it has called off an event today.

The United Cajun Navy cited “increasing security concerns” as the reason for suspending its activities on Friday.

“This decision was not taken lightly is made with the safety of all volunteers in mind,” the group said in a Facebook post. “We want to thank all the volunteers that planned to be out searching today.”

Search called off due to ‘death threats’: Report

Friday 29 March 2024 17:30 , Dan Gooding

United Cajun Navy ends search for Sebastian Rogers after death threats

Seth Rogers is hoping for an Easter miracle

Friday 29 March 2024 18:30 , Dan Gooding

Sebastian’s mom has her theory

Friday 29 March 2024 19:25 , Dan Gooding

Katie Proudfoot told Crime Stories with Nancy Grace on Monday that she feels someone has her son and that she couldn’t understand how the 15-year-old could not have been found yet otherwise.

“I feel like if he had been close to the house, or had walked off, that we would have found him by now with as many people as have been searching,” Ms Proudfoot told the podcast on Monday.

Sebastian’s mom and stepfather Chris Proudfoot were grilled by Nancy Grace, who asked them to clarify their whereabouts the night Sebastian disappeared in Hendersonville, while also calling on experts to give their views on the case.

You can read more here.

Lights seen in driveway were from 'trash collectors’

Friday 29 March 2024 20:25 , Dan Gooding

One of the big talking points around the night of Sebastian’s disappearance has been the appearance of lights on a doorbell camera close to the house, with theories that this was the boy or his abductors leaving.

Mr Rogers said that this is nonsense and the lights were in fact trash collectors.

He also said that there are no signs that the 15-year-old had been speaking to anyone suspicious on his cellphone and no indication that he was planning to run away.

Read more from Mr Rogers’ latest interview here.

Law enforcement staying quiet

Friday 29 March 2024 21:22 , Dan Gooding

Despite meeting with Sebastian’s parents on Thursday, law enforcement have not given an update to the public in a week.

On 22 March, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said it had not forgotten Sebastian and that agents continued to go over any and all information regarding the case.

“Any information you may have about Sebastian…what he likes to do, where he likes to go, people he may know…if it can help us find Sebastian, please let us know,” the update said.

The Bureau also said that much of the work being done was happening behind the scenes and was not necessarily visible to the public.

Information should be submitted via email at TipsToTBI@tbi.tn.gov email or by phone using the 1-800-TBI-FIND tip line.

The Amber Alert description

Friday 29 March 2024 22:33 , Dan Gooding

With one of only two nationwide Amber Alerts in effect right now, the search continues for Sebastian Rogers.

He is described in the alert as:

”A 15-year-old white male, 5’5” tall, 120lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes... Sebastian was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt, black sweatpants, and glasses.”

 (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)
(Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

ICYMI: Search called off after death threats

Saturday 30 March 2024 00:45 , Dan Gooding

After announcing last weekend that they were heading to Hendersonville to help with the search the non-profit organisation the United Cajun Navy announced it was cancelling its planned search on Friday.

“This decision was not taken lightly is made with the safety of all volunteers in mind,” the group said in a Facebook post. “We want to thank all the volunteers that planned to be out searching today.”

The group has reportedly received death threats.

Dad asked world to help him find his son

Saturday 30 March 2024 03:19 , Dan Gooding

Here’s Sebastian’s father Seth Rogers earlier this week, pleading for people to help find his boy.

Mom & stepdad quizzed on police investigation

Saturday 30 March 2024 06:19 , Dan Gooding

In an interview on Crime Stories with Nancy Grace earlier this week, Sebastian’s mother Katie Proudfoot and stepfather Chris Proudfoot defended their decision to leave the family home.

“My son could be anywhere and we’re looking everywhere and anywhere,” the mother said, after clarifying they were leaving as Mr Proudfoot was heading back to work.

Nancy Grace also brought up questions about the police search, with the couple saying they had been cleared of any wrongdoing and that they had cooperated fully when officers arrived to search their home.

Read more on the interview here.

Thousands of miles covered by investigators

Saturday 30 March 2024 09:33 , Dan Gooding

Hunt for missing Sebastian Rogers has covered over 10,000 miles, say investigators

Search nears five weeks

Saturday 30 March 2024 12:07 , Martha McHardy, Andrea Cavallier, Dan Gooding

It has been nearly five weeks since 15-year-old Sebastian Rogers disappeared from his home in Tennessee, with still no sign of the teenager.

The autistic teenager was last seen by his mother and stepfather when he went to bed on the night of 25 February, but when his mother went to wake him up for school the next morning, he was gone, she said.

Sebastian is believed to have wandered off in the middle of the night with a flashlight, barefoot and alone.

See the timeline of the story so far.

A face not seen in weeks

Saturday 30 March 2024 15:12 , Dan Gooding

Sebastian Rogers was last seen going to bed on 25 February at his mother’s home in Hendersonville.

 (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)
(Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

Parents met with law enforcement on Thursday

Saturday 30 March 2024 18:20 , Dan Gooding

Sebastian Rogers’ parents meet with police as questions mount over missing teen

Parents grilled on crime podcast

Saturday 30 March 2024 21:03 , Dan Gooding

On Monday, Sebastian’s mother and stepfather were questioned on the Crime Stories with Nancy Grace podcast.

Thousands of miles searched

Sunday 31 March 2024 00:15 , Dan Gooding

Investigators looking for Sebastian said on Tuesday that they had covered somewhere between 10,000 and 12,000 miles in the past four weeks.

In a report for News Channel 5, Ken Weidner, the director of Sumner County’s Emergency Operations Centre, showed a map of the areas searched so far.

From ponds to homes to woodland, hundreds of people have been scouring the area around where the 15-year-old vanished from four weeks ago.

“We’ve had close to 1,500 searchers,” Mr Weidner told reporter Nick Beres. “We’ve got 1,350 documented and then we have additional people, I’m sure we have got more on the public safety side.

Watch: Seth Rogers’ plea for help

Sunday 31 March 2024 04:00 , Dan Gooding

Dad went weeks without speaking to Sebastian’s mother

Sunday 31 March 2024 07:14 , Dan Gooding

Father of missing teenager Sebastian Rogers says he has not spoken to mother in weeks

Search called off over security concerns

Sunday 31 March 2024 10:22 , Dan Gooding

The United Cajun Navy announced last weekend that it was getting involved in the search for the 15-year-old boy, who was reported missing on 26 February.

However, the group has come under criticism from some on social media for its delayed start to searches after asking for donations of equipment and other supplies.

On Friday, the UCN said on Facebook that it was pulling back and regrouping “due to increasing security concerns”.

“This decision was not taken lightly [and] is made with the safety of all volunteers in mind. We want to thank all the volunteers that planned to be out searching today,” the group’s Facebook post said.

WSMV 4 reported that the group had received “death threats” online and in person.

Stepfather asked about belt incident

Sunday 31 March 2024 13:33 , Dan Gooding

During their interview with Crime Stories with Nancy Grace on Monday, Sebastian’s mother and stepfather were asked about an incident involving Chris Proudfoot hitting the missing boy with a belt.

Seth Rogers is hoping for a miracle today

Sunday 31 March 2024 17:07 , Dan Gooding

All we know so far

Sunday 31 March 2024 20:00 , Andrea Cavallier, Dan Gooding

What we know about disappearance of Sebastian Rogers in Tennessee

Have you seen Sebastian?

Sunday 31 March 2024 23:12 , Dan Gooding

This Amber Alert poster has been shared far and wide as the search rumbles on for Sebastian Rogers.

 (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)
(Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

Investigators promise to keep going

02:04 , Dan Gooding

In a peek behind-the-scenes in Sumner County earlier in the week, investigators said they would keep going.

“We’re not stopping, we’re working on leads and information from TBI and the sheriff’s office and we’ve got teams on standby ready to go right now,” Ken Weidner, the director of Sumner County’s Emergency Operations Centre, said.

Unclear what investigators told parents

05:17 , Dan Gooding

As the search rumbles on, Sebastian’s father Seth Rogers, mother Katie Proudfoot and stepfather Chris Proudfoot all met with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on Thursday.

Mr Rogers told a local reporter that he could not share what was discussed but that he came away from the meeting feeling positive.

Fox 17 reporter Kaitlin Miller had asked him if the meeting had given him hope.

“Oh I always have hope. Can’t take that away from me,” Mr Rogers said.

If Sebastian has not been found, someone has him

08:30 , Dan Gooding

That’s the belief of his mother, Katie Proudfoot, who spoke with Crime Stories with Nancy Grace last week:

United Cajun Navy ends search for Sebastian Rogers after death threats

10:21 , Rachel Sharp

A group organising searches for missing teenager Sebastian Rogers in Tennessee say they’ve called off an event planned for today, over security concerns.

The United Cajun Navy announced last weekend that it was getting involved in the search for the 15-year-old boy, who was reported missing on 26 February.

However, the group has come under criticism from some on social media for its delayed start to searches after asking for donations of equipment and other supplies.

Read the full story:

United Cajun Navy ends search for Sebastian Rogers after death threats

Dad says he is a ‘walking handout'

11:30 , Dan Gooding

Seth Rogers has been frequently interviewed wearing a t-shirt with his son’s face on it.

Seth Rogers says he believes his son Sebastian is playing video games somewhere (Fox 17 Nashville/YouTube)
Seth Rogers says he believes his son Sebastian is playing video games somewhere (Fox 17 Nashville/YouTube)

“This right here is my own billboard to find my son,” Mr Rogers said of his clothing in an interview with Fox 17 Nashville. “People notice what people are wearing, so I am a walking handout.”

Sebastian Rogers’ parents meet with investigators as questions mount five weeks into search for missing teen

12:30 , Rachel Sharp

The parents of Sebastian Rogers met with investigators on Thursday, as the search for the missing Tennessee teenager is now in its fifth week.

The 15-year-old, who has autism, vanished overnight on 25 February and has not been seen since.

As the search rumbles on, his father Seth Rogers, mother Katie Proudfoot and stepfather Chris Proudfoot all met with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on Thursday.

Mr Rogers told a local reporter that he could not share what was discussed but that he came away from the meeting feeling positive.

Fox 17 reporter Kaitlin Miller had asked him if the meeting had given him hope.

Read the full story:

Sebastian Rogers’ parents meet with police as questions mount over missing teen

Sebastian Rogers’ parents confronted by Nancy Grace for leaving home

13:30 , Rachel Sharp

Sebastian’s mother Katie Proudfoot and stepfather Chris Proudfoot have faced criticism for leaving their home in their RV, while the missing teen’s whereabouts remain unknown.

They told Nancy Grace last week that they did so in order for Mr Proudfoot to return to work.

However they also said they had to leave due to threats being made against them.

Mr Rogers was asked if he believed the pair were suspects at all in Sebastian’s disappearance.

“I have no idea,” he said, after a pause.

None of the parents have been accused by law enforcement of having any involvement in Sebastian’s disappearance and no charges have been filed.

Investigators say they have no updates

14:40 , Dan Gooding

It has been over a week since law enforcement looking for Sebastian issued any updates.

Today, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which has been the lead agency alongside Sumner County Sheriff’s Office, told The Independent that nothing has changed, despite reports of searchers being attacked and threatened.

“We do not have anything additional we are able to provide at this stage,” a spokesperson said. “Special agents and intelligence analysts continue to work with investigators with the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office in pursuing tips and leads.”

Anyone with information should contact the tip line at 1-800-TBI-FIND, or TipsToTBI@tbi.tn.gov.

Day 36 of searching

15:35 , Dan Gooding

The search for Sebastian has reached day 36, with no sign still of the teen.

 (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)
(Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

The 15-year-old vanished overnight, having last been seen when he went to bed on 25 February.

Police have shared no evidence of his whereabouts or movements since.

Thousands of miles searched

16:36 , Dan Gooding

From ponds to homes to woodland, hundreds of people have been scouring the area around where the 15-year-old vanished from five weeks ago.

In a report for News Channel 5, Ken Weidner, the director of Sumner County’s Emergency Operations Centre, showed a map of the areas searched so far.

“We’ve had close to 1,500 searchers,” Mr Weidner told reporter Nick Beres. “We’ve got 1,350 documented and then we have additional people, I’m sure we have got more on the public safety side.

“The first two days, we logged 2,000 search miles and we haven’t had enough time to extrapolate all of this,” he said, referring to the data on a huge screen.

Read more here:

Hunt for missing Sebastian Rogers has covered over 10,000 miles, say investigators

WATCH: Teachers are ‘putting out prayers every day'

17:38 , Dan Gooding

How many more Tennessee children are missing?

18:29 , Dan Gooding

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, there are eight other active missing children alerts.

Alongside Sebastian are children who have been missing for over a decade, including 4-month-old Zaylee Grace Fryer last seen in May 2011 and Gage Daniel, 7, who disappeared in September 2012.

Amber Alerts are only issued for the most serious cases.

With between 500 and 600 missing children reports each month in the state, the TBI says the status is given to cases where the child is in imminent danger of bodily injury or death, or there is greater urgency in the case needing wider involvement of other agencies.

United Cajun Navy says its committed to finding answers

19:32 , Dan Gooding

In an interview with The Independent on Monday, United Cajun Navy spokesperson Kevin LaFond said the group was now working “privately” on the case.

More to follow from the interview shortly.

UCN spokesperson on death threats and scam accusations

20:00 , Dan Gooding

In an interview with The Independent on Monday, the United Cajun Navy’s spokesperson Kevin LaFond said the threats made to the organisation’s members were “much louder in volume” than they’d ever known.

“In fact, we’ve never had the situation occur before,” Mr LaFond said after UCN announced it was stopping its search for the 15-year-old in Hendersonville on Friday.

Mr LaFond also addressed accusations that the UCN was a scam, after delays in getting searches going.

“The word hurtful comes up. The other is uninformed,” Mr LaFond said of those accusations. “Folks that know the United Cajun Navy know that there’s proof in our words everywhere and it’s not hard to find it.”

Read the full story here.

More news tomorrow?

21:03 , Dan Gooding

According to local news outlet Fox 17 Nashville, a media briefing on Sebastian’s case is planned for tomorrow.

Sumner County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Eric Craddock told the outlet that the agency did not have any new developments to report “at this time”, but that a press conference was planned for 11am local time Tuesday.

“We understand the importance of keeping the public informed, and we want to assure you that the investigation into Mr. Rogers’ disappearance remains ongoing,” a statement released to Fox 17 said.

The Independent has approached SCSO for further comment.

ICYMI: United Cajun Navy moves to private investigation

22:08 , Dan Gooding

United Cajun Navy working privately with Sebastian Rogers’ family after threats