CFN – Editor’s note. In this day and age journalists need all the support we can get; especially for each other. Hopefully Mr. Pettibone returns safe and sound. Please contact us at 855 444 1133 if you have any information about his whereabouts or your local law enforcement. You can also contact Derek Gordanier via email.
It is surreal for me to be writing this.
A colleague, a friend, is missing.
Steve Pettibone, the Sports Editor of the Brockville Recorder and Times, is at the time of this writing a missing person, and the subject of a regional alert issued by Belleville Police.
His colleagues in the newsroom are very concerned for his well-being. Steve has always been a conscientious and hard-working employee and we knew on Monday that something was seriously amiss when Steve failed to report to work by mid morning.
He had communicated on Sunday through text with our reporter Ronald Zajac. He posted on his Twitter account later that afternoon, opining about the most recent Blue Jays loss.
All seemed right and normal with our friend.
And then Monday morning, Steve said farewell to his partner Michelle as she left for work at 7:30 a.m. in Belleville, telling her he was on his way to work in Brockville.
He never arrived. That goodbye to Michelle was the last time, as of this writing, that Steve has been heard from or seen. Texts to him went unanswered; phone calls to him went direct to his voice mail. His whereabouts remain unknown.
As his editor, it is difficult to describe just how out of character this is for Steve. Work was always a priority for him, and he performed his duties to the best of his abilities, with true enthusiasm for meeting people and telling their stories in the pages of our newspaper and on our web site.
Steve is one of the kindest, gentlest, funniest people you could meet. The newsroom loves him. He always lightens the daily grind of our news-gathering day with his sharp wit, his jovial voice, his astounding retention of rock music and movie trivia, and his incredible talent for mimicry. His work station is directly outside my office door, and I can’t tell you how many times he has doubled me over in laughter with spot-on voice impressions as he jokes around with his colleagues through the work day.
We don’t know what happened to him. We are hoping and praying for the best. We are incredibly concerned about our friend and co-worker and we hope you can assist in helping us find him.
Steve Pettibone was last seen at his residence in Belleville at about 7:30 a.m. Monday.
He is 39 years old, five-foot-10, weighing 190 pounds with brown eyes, balding brown hair and a goatee.
He may be wearing a black jacket. Police had no other clothing descriptors.
He could be driving a grey, 2013 four-door Kia Rio, with Ontario plates marked BPMT 499.
Anyone with any information about Steve’s whereabouts is asked to call the Belleville Police Service at 613-966-0882, or Quinte Crime Stoppers.
This is a news story, a terrible news story we are obligated to report, while at the same time all of us want nothing more than to have Steve back, sitting at his desk, telling his usual jokes.
We now have a new, more visceral understanding of what it means to live with an absence that is the most terrible presence of all: an unanswered question, a relentless fear.
And, like every other friend or family member of every missing person we have ever written about before, we are appealing to anyone out there with information on Steve’s whereabouts, or what happened, to help.
-Derek Gordanier, Managing Editor, The Brockville Recorder and Times