Michigan State Police Use Helicopter To Search For Teen Missing Since 2018
Michigan State Police conducted an evening helicopter operation over Portage to locate a teen that went missing in 2018.
Residents in Portage likely observed a helicopter flying overhead in the area of West Centre and Oakland Drive the evening of Wednesday, March 31, 2021. The Portage Department of Public Safety said the operation was to assist the agency with the ongoing investigation into the May 19, 2018, disappearance of Bonafacio (Facio) Pena.
Facio, as he is known to his friends and family, was last seen in Portage on that day, walking with Nick Johnson. Nicholas Johnson was recently charged with the murder of his parents in Portage in February 2021.
Family members noted early on in Facio's disappearance that it was unusual for the teen bot to contact his friends or family. Facio's mother says Nick has always been the main suspect in her mind. Officials with the Portage Department of Public Safety say that enlight of Johnson's latest charges, along with witness statements and other evidence, that investigators believe Mr. Pena was the victim of foul play.
Facio's mother released her own statement regarding the latest search effort
I do not know specific details leading up to this search, but I am aware of it and I am aware that the reason is NOT because of any NEW information but because of environmental similarities between this year and 2018.
Our family would be most appreciative of your prayers and we ask that everyone please respect our privacy at this time.
Read her statement in its entirety in the social media post below
Facio is 5 feet and 8 inches tall and weighs about 180 pounds. Pena has shorter black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing an acid blue jean hoodie with ripped sleeves, black stretch pants, and red shoes with a black Nike cinch-style bag.
This is not the first aerial search for Facio. In late April 2019, Portage Public Safety and the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office worked together to conduct an aerial search, flying above the Gordneck State Game Area in hopes of locating the 17-year-old. There were no discoveries in that effort.
Authorities conducted the latest search based on similar environmental factors happening now that were the same at the time Facio went missing.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Portage Department of Public Safety at 269-329-4567 or Silent Observer at 269-343-2100, or SilentObserver.Com.