Search for missing UNH student moves to Portsmouth, NH
DURHAM, N.H. (WHDH) -- Investigators in the case of the missing University of New Hampshire student responded to Portsmouth, New Hampshire Friday night, but confirmed they have not yet found a body.
An anonymous tip came in to police of an apparent report of a body found in Portsmouth, New Hampshire near Peirce Island Road at about 9 p.m. Police taped off a large area, keeping back the public. Police stress that no body has yet been found, but the scene remains very active.
The FBI joined the search for the missing 19-year-old student, last seen on campus Tuesday night.
Elizabeth Marriott, who goes by “Lizzi,” is a marine biology major and a sophomore at UNH. Family said between classes, her volunteer work at the New England Aquarium and her job at Target, she has little time to socialize. Marriott’s family is confused and concerned and said this is completely out of character.
New Hampshire authorities confirmed Friday they are now working with the FBI. The FBI and New Hampshire State Police held a press conference asking the media and public to circulate photos of Elizabeth Marriott.
“We have conducted searches today from sea, land and sky. We had a state police helicopter up, marine patrol has been in bodies of water, we have had troopers and police officers searching areas where we believe Lizzi may have last been,” said Jane Young, New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General.
Lizzi’s father, Bob Marriott, had a message for his daughter Friday.
“If she can hear and she’s got the ability, you know, Lizzi please come home. We love you,” said Bob Marriott.
He issued a plea to the public as well.
“If there’s someone else that knows something about what has happened, you know, please come forward. Someone somewhere out there knows what happened and can help us bring her home,” said Bob Marriott.
Marriott made plans to meet her friends in Dover Tuesday night after her 6 to 9 p.m. class, but never showed up. Investigators said they tracked her phone to Dover, N.H., about five miles from Durham. It was last used around 10 p.m. Tuesday and has since been turned off. She didn’t show up for her job at Target in Greenland, N.H. on Wednesday and has missed classes at UNH.
Marriott is a commuter student and lives with her aunt and uncle in Chester, N.H. As more time passes, Lizzi’s family is growing increasingly concerned.
“She’s a new driver. She didn’t get her license until she was 18 just a week before she started college. She’s newer to New Hampshire. She’s only been here a year. She’s only gone to UNH for this past month,” said Marriott’s aunt, Becky Hannah. “She’s damn smart and she’s clever, but I don’t know if her street smarts are that great and we really need everybody to help us.”
Investigators went through Lizzi’s computer Friday hoping to find clues in her disappearance.
“We really need everybody to help us and thank you for being here and just get her home. Today’s her parent’s anniversary,” said Rebecca Tyning, Lizzi’s aunt.
“We’re going on three days here with a girl who just doesn’t not keep connections with her family. She’s a very pretty girl but she’s 19 and when we’re 19 we think everybody’s our friend and that’s the scary part,” said Tony Hannah, Marriott’s uncle.
UNH sent a campus-wide text, alerting students of the situation.
“It could happen to anyone. People are clearly worried about it. It’s a scary thing. It’s scary for her family and friends. I hope they find her,” said Phil Dion, a UNH student.
“It definitely keeps you thinking, you have to be safe, you have to be cautious wherever you go and make sure you have someone with you especially at night. That’s awful, I hope it works out,” said another student, Mairead Dunphy.
Marriott’s parents are spending their 25th wedding anniversary canvassing nearby towns with fliers offering a $10,000 reward in hopes of finding their daughter.
Officials said Marriott drives a tan Mazda Tribute, with license plate number 304 5397.