ABOVE PHOTO: Missing Nick Wilcox of Milwaukee
Family and friends of Kettle Moraine High School graduate Nick Wilcox, missing since New Year's Day, gathered at Milwaukee's Irish Rec Room on Thursday night, Jan. 3. The bar, in the 1000 block of North Old World Third Street, was where Wilcox celebrated the new year and is the last place he is known to have been seen.
According to the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD), Wilcox was last seen outside the bar between 1 and 2 a.m. Jan. 1. Sgt. Mark Stanmeyer said there has been no new information police are willing to release, but they are following up on several leads.
Rumors have circulated that Wilcox was spotted outside a Qdoba restaurant in Milwaukee's downtown at about 3 a.m., but Stanmeyer said he could not confirm that information.
The Irish Rec Room closed for several days after the incident and now serves as a headquarters for volunteers who have spent the past week circulating fliers and searching the Milwaukee riverfront.
Kelly Vecitis, a managing partner for the bar, said he had never experienced something like this.
"They are doing their best to follow what they know," he said. "There has been a lot of support."
Vecitis said last week that the bar would open again Friday, Jan. 4, but the search party would continue to meet on the second floor.
Anyone who would like to volunteer is welcome to come to the bar, Vecitis said, adding, "We will point them in the right direction."
About 60 community members attended a prayer service at Grace Church in Delafield last week. The Rev. Mike Frans said the church received calls of support from people around the country.
"People from Virginia to Kansas to Tennessee said they were praying for the family," Frans said.
Family members did not respond to requests seeking comment for this story.
"He was adventurous," Frans said. "He went on a week hike with members of the youth group, up to Long's Peak in Colorado."
Frans said friends and family struggling during this crisis should remember the story of the Prodigal Son.
"God understands what it is like to have a son who is suffering," Frans said. "A son that is missing."
Nick Wilcox is blond-haired and blue-eyed, 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs approximately 180 pounds. Anyone with information about his disappearance is encouraged to call the MPD at (414) 935-7403.