Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Holding out Hope for Missing Friend

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Holding out Hope for Missing Friend

Article excerpt

TEANECK -- For Akinde Hanna, 20, the disappearance of his childhood friend Timothy Hamlett since the night of Dec. 26 has felt like losing a brother. The two, born 15 minutes apart, grew up together in Teaneck, played together as children, building forts in the living room, and took family vacations together.

So when he's not helping search for Hamlett -- as he has, roaming Manhattan with a team of family friends and passing out fliers -- he tries to dispel thoughts of the worst.

"I've been trying to keep my mind off of it just for the sake of my mental and emotional state," said Hanna, who last saw Hamlett on Christmas Eve.

The energetic efforts by Hanna and other family friends to support the Hamlett family continued Sunday with a jazz concert at St. Mark's Episcopal Church on Chadwick Road. The band of volunteer musicians, all from the area, performed before an audience of 100, including Hamlett's grandmother, who sat in the front row.

Hamlett was last seen the night of Dec. 26, when he told his parents, Katherine and Archibald, he was going to visit a friend in Teaneck. Hamlett, who is 6 feet tall and 150 pounds, was wearing jeans, sneakers and a blue or purple zip-up hooded Adidas jacket, police said.

His wallet and cellphone were recovered in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, just across the George Washington Bridge, on Tuesday. Hamlett has never gone missing before. Anyone with information is asked to contact Teaneck police at 201-837-2600.

Katherine Hamlett has said she and her husband noticed changes in their son's behavior in early 2014, caused, they suspect, by athletic supplements he was taking. Hamlett, a junior at the University of Pennsylvania and a graduate of Don Bosco Prep, is a former sprinter and middle-distance runner on the track team. He took a leave of absence from the school in the fall semester, his parents said.

In September, Hamlett turned himself in to Teaneck police after a warrant had been issued for his arrest on charges related to a series of brick-throwing incidents over Memorial Day weekend. …

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