Missing Teen’s Family Searches For New Leads
Almost a month after thirteen-year-old Gary Tilander went missing, his family is talking about their continued effort to find answers. His family is deeply concerned that no new leads have surfaced.
Bobbi Mathews says her family has been searching every single day.
The search started on February 23rd, when the Evergreen House called Bemidji Police 10 minutes after he left the shelter-around 8:30 AM. He had been placed there after an argument with his sister, Bobbi Mathews, who is his legal guardian.
The Evergreen House then called Mathews, around 9:15, but police didn’t call Mathews until about 1:30 PM when he still hadn’t been found.
There were two confirmed sightings of Tilander at the Turtle River Chophouse and about a half mile down the road at The Other Place. Both sightings happened around 2 pm on the day he left the shelter.
There were other sightings of Tilander along highway 71, north of Blackduck, but then nothing.
His family believes he was trying to walk the 108 miles back to International Falls. Now, his family fears the worst.
Mathews has been disappointed with police action and worries that not all leads have been fully investigated. She says other organizations have offered help but police have not accepted it.
The family hopes now that people, especially around the Blackduck area, will look around their property in sheds and other hiding places in hope that they’ll find him.
The family is now offering a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to Tilander’s current whereabouts.
Timeline according to Bobbi Mathews:
February 23rd around 8:30 AM: Gary Tilander leaves the Evergreen House in Bemidji
February 23rd around 8:40 AM: Evergreen House calls Bemidji Police
February 23rd around 1:30 PM: Police tell family members that Tilander has not been located
February 23rd around 2 PM: There are two confirmed sightings of Gary Tilander at the Turtle River Chophouse and The Other Place. He attempted to go into the Chophouse but they hadn’t opened yet
February 23rd at 3:59 PM: Media outlets are notified that Tilander is a missing teen
February 23rd afternoon: Tilander is spotted on highway 71 north of Blackduck. This is the last confirmed sighting.
Tilander is described as 6’1″ tall, 160 pounds, sandy blonde hair and blue eyes. He has a distinctive scar above his left eye underneath his eyebrows. Due to his height, he appears much older than 13. He was wearing a black flight Jordan Jumpman hoodie with black hightop shoes. Residents are asked to search abandoned vehicles and deer stands for any sign of Tilander.
Any information can be given to the Bemidji Police Department at (218) 333-9111 or dial 911.