RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. — A local community is redoubling its efforts to find a missing University of South Carolina - Aiken student not seen in several days.
Theron Wallace, 20, went missing on Christmas morning while he was kayaking on Lake Carolina
After nearly a week of searching, his family has hired a private investigator to assist the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in its search.
On Friday, dozens of residents in the Lake Carolina residential area volunteered to help search for Wallace.
"This is someone who is a neighbor and a friend to people that we know in the community," said Jasmine Caruthers, a volunteer. "I definitely wanted to be a part of helping find him, and hopefully bring him back to his family."
Caruthers said it was her second day searching and that she will continue to be part of their search efforts to bring Wallace back home.
"He loves the lake, he loves to meditate, he loves to sit in the woods, he loves to walk trails," said Chandra Cleveland, a private investigator hired by the Wallaces. "It wasn’t unusual for him to go out, what is unusual is for him to not come back."
Investigator Cleveland said Wallace had always gone out kayaking in the mornings and this isn't anything out of the ordinary.
According to his family, Wallace was wearing a black and red life jacket when he disappeared. His phone's location was last found in the Kelly Mill, St. George area.
The kayak and paddle were found on Christmas day, but there have been no signs of Wallace. Cleveland said she is helping provide divers and boats with sonar to search. The Richland County Coroners Office is also helping provide canine units.
"The resources that I have, we can continue to got as long as we need to in order to find him," Investigator Cleveland said.
According to the DNR, Lake Carolina is 200 acres and 44ft deep. Searching every day, they have only examined around 32% of the lake.
Investigator Cleveland said this is why it's important for more people to help with the recovery mission.
If anyone has information about Wallace's whereabouts, they can contact local law enforcement or call: 1-888-CRIME-SC.