What could have happened to Shane Montgomery?

Shane Montgomery

Just about 15 minutes after I found out that Kiki Louder’s body had been discovered, (that’s a case I once wrote about) I learned a bit about the story of Shane Montgomery, a college kid who vanished in the Philadelphia area on Thanksgiving early morning (so late Wednesday night). Here are the basics of the story, and here’s a bit more information about why the FBI is currently involved in the case. The search is entering about a week now. People Magazine is even involved, even though it’s not a missing white woman syndrome case.

So what could have happened? There are plenty of theories.

I brought up Kiki Louder at the top of this post because she was ultimately found in a river. The same thing happened to Kristy Kelly — her car was found in a lake. People get drunk or get tired or whatever and fall into bodies of water, and that can be the end. It is sad, but true.

That’s a possibility in the Shane Montgomery case — he was walking around bars and an area with several canals. There are differing opinions on whether he was drunk. His mom says no, which is logical. Sheer logic of anyone who’s been 21 and back in their home area with their friends on the night before Thanksgiving would indicate he could have been, and there’s a whole storyline in this case about whether he got kicked out of a bar or was asked to leave because he bumped into DJ equipment. Go here and read Post #220 for a detailed rundown of events and timing.

There were cell phone pings in the wrong direction, but if you’ve been listening to Serial, you know cell phone pings can be a fool’s game — I believe Oregon and Illinois don’t even allow them in courtroom testimony anymore.

There’s also a whole issue with the direction Montgomery turned after he left the bar. He lived to the left, but apparently turned right. There are a couple of explanations for this — going to try and get another drink (been guilty of that), going to get food (ditto), confused/drunk (ditto), and/or meeting up with someone else/has a better plan to get home in their head (ditto). Any of these things is a possibility.

Here are the most logical things that potentially happened, IMHO:

  • Drowning situation. Sad, but Occam’s Razor would point here.
  • Possibly he got jumped by others in the area. Comments thread (take with a grain of salt) describes a similar situation.
  • His cousin apparently worked at the bar him and his friends were at, or previously worked there. There could be some kind of beef among staff, etc. Something could have resulted there.
  • Drinking/drug overdose. Again, sad, and not probable — but it’s possible.
  • Got into a car — could explain the pings — and something happened after the fact.

This much we do know: the timelines are a bit confusing — although you’d hope law enforcement knows exactly the deal, and just doesn’t release everything to the public — and when someone is missing for seven days with no contact, you generally have to assume the worst, or at least brace for it.

If this is truly one of those situations where he got kicked out and the process of being kicked out separated him from his friends, then this idea comes into play even more.

Any ideas on what happened to Shane Montgomery?

Ted Bauer


  1. all of the above is true…but the question is…..what happened. I hate to say it, but, as a local from the same area…I don’t believe locals wander toward the water here. It is a dead end…no houses, no bars, no food. It just doesn’t happen unless perhaps you actually live right in this area and the canal is your stomping grounds. In this case, that is not the case. He lived in the area….but not right in that area. So I rule out the accidental drowning immediately. And if he didn’t drowned, hasn’t been seen since, what happened. I believe he was picked up…either in a phony offer to drive him up the hill a bit….or…he was coerced into getting into a vehicle and then kidnapped out of the area from that point. He is probably now in some other part of the country being……perish the thought.

  2. “turning right” is new information to me. I had read another’s comment that if you’re “local”, you know the shortcuts, ie through the park, over the Wissihickon Creek area, and he could’ve taken one of those shortcuts, slipped, hit his head, fallen in? What is missing from all of the reports is what is address/general area that he was headed towards which makes it difficult to get an intuitive read on the situation. I think he is in the water – don’t know the currents in the creek, but especially with all of this rain, he may turn up afterall. 🙁

  3. I did just find that he would have normally taken Shurs Lane as a route home which would’ve taken him 35 minutes to walk home – something he has done before. 1:15 last text to cousin when separated at bar; 1:28 last phone call to a friend before leaving bar; 2:38 last ping.

    • This is good information, Pat. It appears the reward is now 50K, so it’s possible we’re gonna get somewhere on this in the next little bit. I have a feeling it’s a ‘river/locks’ thing and not an abduction thing, but you never know.

  4. $65K now… someone would have talked by now… ? Of course in my “surfing” on this, that ‘smiley killer” came up… College aged men drowning in rivers after a night out… who knows?

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