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Sebastian Rogers: United Cajun Navy search called off after parents meet investigators

The 15-year-old disappeared from his Sumner County, Tennessee, home on 26 February

Dan Gooding
Monday 01 April 2024 22:43 BST
Police ‘ready to search’ all leads on disappearance of missing teen Sebastian Rogers

After members received death threats, a non-profit organisation helping in the search for Sebastian Rogers in Tennessee said on Monday that it was now working privately with his family.

In an interview with The Independent, United Cajun Navy spokesperson Kevin LaFond also addressed rumours that the group was a “scam”.

“The word hurtful comes up. The other is uninformed,” Mr LaFond said of those accusations. “Folks that know the United Cajun Navy know that there’s proof in our words everywhere and it’s not hard to find it.”

The group was called in by the 15-year-old’s father and other members of the community, after the search for him stretched over a month.

Sebastian disappeared overnight on 25 February, with his mother Katie Proudfoot finding his bed empty the following morning.

Sebastian’s parents met with law enforcement on Thursday, as the search for him neared five weeks.

His dad said he could not discuss what the meeting was about, but insisted that he still has hope that his son is out there somewhere.

“I don’t know if he’s been abducted or if he’s just over at a friend’s house, but I’ll know when I find him exactly what has happened to him,” Seth Rogers told Fox 17.

After over a week without any law enforcement update, Sumner County Sheriff’s Office is expected to hold a media briefing on Tuesday morning.


What we know about Sebastian’s disappearance

It’s now more than a month since Sebastian was last seen at his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee on 26 February.

The search operation has involved helicopters, drones, search-and-rescue dogs, and teams on foot, and last week was extended to a landfill site across the state line in Kentucky.

Search teams have been playing the 15-year-old’s favourite song, “Eye of the Tiger”, as they look for him in the hope of attracting his attention.

The teenager, who has high-functioning autism, may have left his mother and stepfather’s house barefoot, investigators believe.

Anyone with information on Sebastian’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact Sumner County Sheriff’s Office Detective Carter at 615-442-1865 or

Tips can also be provided to Sumner County Emergency Communications at 615-451-3838 or 1-800-TBI-FIND.

Here’s what we know about Sebastian’s disappearance so far:

What we know about disappearance of Sebastian Rogers in Tennessee

The autistic teenager has now been gone for a month, with his mother now saying she believes someone took her son. Andrea Cavallier and Dan Gooding explain what we know so far

Phil Thomas28 March 2024 12:45

Sebastian’s mother believes someone has her son

Katie Proudfoot, Sebastian’s mother, has said she fears someone has taken her son, insisting the 15-year-old would not have wandered off alone.

She told the podcast Crime Stories with Nancy Grace: “I feel like if he had been close to the house, or had walked off, that we would have found him by now with as many people as have been searching.”

Ms Proudfoot said she heard a “thud” on the night of Sebastian’s disappearance, called out to him and then told him to go to bed when he responded.

Dan Gooding has the full story:

Missing Sebastian Rogers’ mother believes someone has her son

Katie Proudfoot and her husband Chris said they had been cleared of any wrongdoing

Phil Thomas28 March 2024 13:02

Sebastian’s dad says he needs his son back

Seth Rogers spoke with local news outlet WKRN on Wedneday, saying he was grateful for the United Cajun Navy in showing up to help him.

“I feel like I am carrying the weight of the world, and all the sudden I got somebody standing behind me, helping me hold that up,” Mr Rogers explained.

He has been out most days searching for the 15-year-old since his disappearance over a month ago.

“I am asking the world to help me find my son,” Mr Rogers told the outlet. “I need my son back.”

Dan Gooding28 March 2024 15:02

Audio gives insight into first few hours of search

Newly released audio has given new insight into the moments after Sebastian disappeared.

The archive dispatch call from Sumner County Sheriff’s Office has been widely shared over the past 24 hours, with the dispatcher heard explaining that the 15-year-old’s mother was out looking for him.

“We have a missing juvenile… This morning the 15-year-old was not in the bed,” the officer is heard saying in the broken audio from around 6.20am on 26 February.

They then describe Sebastian, who may have been wearing a black sweatshirt and black sweatpants, adding that he had never disappeared from the home in Hendersonville before.

“The mother is driving around looking for him… she is driving a blue Infinity,” the dispatcher tells officers.

The Independent has approached Sumner County Sheriff’s Office for further comment.

Dan Gooding28 March 2024 16:08

What are law enforcement doing?

(Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

In its latest update on Friday 22 March, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation addressed frustrations expressed by some after they scaled back their search.

“Much of the work being done to track down information about where Sebastian may have gone is not something you will necessarily see in the public. But we want you to know that every day, work is being done to find Sebastian,” the TBI said in a press release.

The Bureau said it was following up on any tips it received on the case and urged locals to keep on checking their land for signs of the boy.

Mike Bedigan28 March 2024 18:30

Watch: Sebastian Rogers's father asks for the world to 'help him find his son'

Sebastian Rogers's father asks for the world to 'help him find his son'
Mike Bedigan28 March 2024 18:55

Third of autistic kids who wander are trying to escape stressful situation

An autism expert has explained that Sebastian’s special needs would likely be affecting him greatly.

Speaking to Nancy Grace, Courtney Lasky from Little Stars Therapy said that children typically have deficits with communication and social skills.

“If, in fact, he is with someone else who does not know him well, that would be entirely out of his routine, he could be engaging in behaviours which he has not engaged in before, he could be looking for an escape, a way to get out of those adverse situations,” Ms Lasky said.

She added that not every autistic child will wander, but that 36% of those who do are doing so to get away from a stressful or difficult situation.

Mike Bedigan28 March 2024 19:15

A month-long Amber Alert

It’s a month since the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation posted this to its X account, announcing that an Amber Alert had been issued for Sebastian Rogers.

It is one of only two active alerts nationwide, with the other being for missing Wisconsin 3-year-old Elijah Vue, who has also not been seen for a month.

Mike Bedigan28 March 2024 20:15

The story so far: Frantic searches and emotional interviews

From a pond being drained, to a reward for information and a mother’s tearful interview, the search for Sebastian has now passed the one-month mark.

Here is a rundown of the story so far:

A timeline of the disappearance of 15-year-old Sebastian Rogers

The autistic teenager is believed to have wandered off in the middle of the night with a flashlight, barefoot and alone

Mike Bedigan28 March 2024 21:00

Sebastian’s home was searched ‘at least’ ten times

Police ‘ready to search’ all leads on disappearance of missing teen Sebastian Rogers
Mike Bedigan28 March 2024 21:45

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