Sheffield a town of about 700 people held a candle-lit vigil for Mary Pat O'Hagan, a 78-old-year old, woman who was thought to be abducted two weeks ago. Everyone is asking the same question: What happened to Pat?
Pat, whose family are from County Roscommon, is a very active woman who lives by herself. The alarm was raised when she missed a rug-making session on September 11.
The 78-year-old grandmother of nine enjoys kayaking, camping and volunteers in the historical society, at the annual chicken dinner and at the local food bank. None of her friends or family believes that she just wondered off and the police have classed her disappearance as suspicious, meaning that she could have been abducted from her own home.
Sheffield, her home town, is small with no stop lights or stores. The hunt for Pat's whereabouts has been ongoing over the last two week with volunteers joining with police detectives, firefighters and all-terrain vehicle clubs searching in barns, fields, a quarry and woods.
Robin Adler, a professor of justice studies and sociology at Norwich University, in Northfield told the Huffington Post that such investigations can be quite lengthily.
He said "I'm sure her house has been thoroughly searched and fibers picked up for testing, and that takes time…It doesn't take 20 minutes like on TV. That's the sort of stuff they're looking for."
Her family has set up a website to raise money for a reward fund, seeking out any information on Pat's disappearance. The fund now stands at $20,000.
Dick Bartlett, 66, a longtime friend of Pat's said "I don't know if somebody might've tracked her at the field day, I don't know if it was just a random stop at her house…It's just unbelievable, unbelievable that something could happen in somebody's own home."
Although ground searches have now been called off pending new leads, Sgt. Tara Thomas from the Vermont State Police said the investigation remains "aggressive and active" and they have been joined by the FBI.
She said "We're following up on a ton of information and interviews…When you talk to one person, that leads to one or two more people, and we're following all those leads."
At the candle-lit vigil on Thursday night, 13 days after her disappearance, friends, family and the community gathered. Galway Kinnell, a writer, read W.B Yeat's poem "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" and a flutist played "Amazing Grace".
Matt O'Hagan, one of Pat's sons said "We're committed to find our mom…We know she's out there. Somebody came in, did something they shouldn't have done. But we know somebody has some information. Please, talk to your friends."