Parents Yearn For News Of Missing Epileptic Son, 28

Man Disappeared March 15 While At Baltimore Dock Job

March 24, 1991|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff writer

Janice and Dennis McFayden aren't sure if they believe the old adage"no news is good news."

The Glen Burnie couple's son, Colby, 28, disappeared March 15 while working at a Baltimore dock as a security guard.

Police and divers from the fire department searched the water around the piers and found nothing.

"In a way, we are glad they did not find him in the water," said Janice McFayden. "But the alternative is just as bad."

After more than two weekswithout a clue about what happened to their son, almost any news would be welcomed, though.

"It's very, very hard not knowing," McFayden said. "You can't concentrate, and every time the phone rings, you think it's something or someone with some news."

Colby McFayden, an epileptic, disappeared between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. from his job at the Yachting Center in the 2000 block of Boston Street in Baltimore, said Sgt. Robert Dean, supervisor of the Baltimore City Police Missing Persons Unit.

"There was really no reason for him to take off and no reason to believe there was a homicide," he said.

Dean said the last person to see Colby apparently was Officer Daniel Fickus, who was patrolling the area and stopped to talk with himat about 3 a.m.

Colby was making his rounds and was wearing his boots, which were later found in the guard shack. Dean said Fickus warned Colby about the slipperiness of the piers.

When employees of the Yachting Center arrived at work around 9a.m., they found the guard shack locked, but Colby's backpack and date-book organizer were laid out as if he were still around or had only meant to step out for a minute. His shift ended at 6 a.m.

The lights, heat and a radio were on, and there was no sign of a fight or astruggle.

At the end of one of the piers, workers found about 25 cents in coins in a neat pile.

"The pier goes about 1,100 feet outinto the water," said Brad Stevenson, who works at the yachting center. "It wasn't scattered around like someone dropped it, but like it fell out as someone was sitting down or laying down."

He said it would be unusual for anyone to be out on the pier after dark during the winter.

Stevenson and Colby's parents both described him as an organized person who took care of his property and paid attention to details.

"He was like a machine in his routine, very predictable," Stevenson said.

Inside Colby's organizer, there was a list of chores he had to do:

-- Take T.V. repair receipt to Dad's.

-- Dust bookcase and place books.

-- Get money orders for bills and mail.

-- Call prescription in, jewelry store and Bonita for bible study.

"When we went through some of his things, we found a money order for a bill," Dennis McFayden said. "So why would he just run off after paying a bill?"

Colby shared a house in the 300 block of Wilson Avenue with a roommate, his mother said. He took a bus to work every day.

"He has had to fight for every little thing he's got," she said. "Kids in school used to tease him and call him retarded, and employers would fire him after finding out he was an epileptic."

At about 1:30 a.m. on the day he disappeared, police said, Colby may have had a seizure during a phone conversation with a friend, but he was fine by 3 a.m. when Officer Fickus saw him.

"The longer it goes on,the harder it is to be optimistic," Dennis McFayden said.

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