BRATTLEBORO -- Friends and family of 17-year-old Marble Arvidson, who went missing a day before Tropical Storm Irene flooded most of Windham County, are still holding out hope that he'll be found safe.
Julie Cunningham, executive director of Families First, who's known Arvidson since he was 8 years old, said she's trying to stay positive but it's getting tougher.
"Every hour that goes by the thoughts turn to the worst-case scenario," Cunningham said. "Where is Marble? We're going to keep hoping. I don't know what to do other than that."
All leads today turned up false, she said Wednesday.
There was a lead that he was spotted in Dover, but after seeing the child thought to be Arvidson, it was confirmed not to be him, she said.
Arvidson, who's described as tall, lanky and athletic with shoulder-length blonde hair, was last seen leaving his home along Marlboro Road in West Brattleboro just after 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, heading toward the woods.
One of Arvidson's friends, Sam Burton, 17, said not checking in with people for this long is unlike him. Burton said he thinks his friend is still alive though.
"He's been through a lot in his life," Burton said. "He's a strong person and it's not a time where he would quit or give up. He's a survivor."
Cunningham said Arvidson, "Marb" to those in his closest circle of friends, is loved by many in the community and has a good relationship with his family and friends. He also lived for some time in Wilmington and if he could, he would attempt to contact people there to check on their well being followed by the devastation caused by flash floods.
According to Cunningham, Arvidson had plans the afternoon of his disappearance to meet up with his girlfriend at his home after he went out for a hike.
Teachers at Brattleboro Union High School, along with friends and family members have offered to put together a search party to look through the woods where he was last spotted.
"We have to get an organized effort, especially in the aftermath of the tropical storm," Cunningham said.
She added that she was going to meet with police this morning to plan out the next steps to search for him.
Neither Cunningham, any of Arvidson's friends, or police said they thought this was a runaway situation.
"He was looking forward to going back to school for his senior year," Cunningham said. "There was nothing to indicate that there was any kind of conflict he was trying to avoid."
Anyone with information about Marble Arvidson is urged to contact Julie Cunningham at 802-258-1390 or the Brattleboro Police at 802-257-7946.
Josh Stilts can be reached at email@example.com, or 802-254-2311 ext. 273.