The Richmond Police Department has announced a $10,000 reward for anyone who can provide information leading to the whereabouts of missing Kennedy High student Antoine Whittley.
A daily and ongoing multi-agency land and water search has yet to find the 17-year-old, who went missing after a ride share driver dropped him off mid-span on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10.
Coordinated by Richmond Police Sgt. Joe England, the search is covering a vast area of shoreline and waters from Angel Island to East Brothers Island, and has involved the deployment of RPD drones, CHP and Coast Guard fly overs, Solano County Sheriff underwater sonar capabilities and officers walking the shorelines, according to the Richmond Police Department.
So far, Antoine hasn’t been found, and it isn’t known whether he went into the water, police said.
This Friday morning, Richmond police Chief Bisa French is set to hold a news conference with Antoine’s family and community groups supporting the search at RPD’s headquarters. The conference aims to “spread our word for the safe return of Antoine.”
“Our goal is to continue daily searches and bring Antione home,” police said.
Just before 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, Antoine was visiting a friend’s house in the 300 block of Marina Way South when he obtained a ride share to return home to the Point Richmond area, police said. About 10 minutes after being picked up, the ride share driver dropped Antoine off on the bridge, and that was the last time he was seen, police said.
According to police, the ride share driver, who is cooperating with the police investigation and is not considered a person of interest, accidentally missed the last exit in Richmond when he ended up on the bridge. Something happened between the driver and Antoine that prompted the driver to stop the car mid-span of the bridge and let Antoine out, police said. Further details about that encounter were not provided.
Antoine exited the car on his own free will and the driver is not considered a person of interest in his disappearance, according to the police investigation.
While on the bridge that night, Antoine spoke with a friend on the phone, which police confirmed via a review of his cellphone records. The friend said Antoine stated he believed he was being followed, and the driver also described him as paranoid, according to reports by KTVU and KPIX. Antoine’s family says he is not suicidal and have been pleading for the community’s assistance in his safe return.
Antoine stands 5’9” and weighs about 130 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black Covid-19 mask, hooded Reebok sweatshirt and black/green pants with an orange/green/gray camouflage stripe on both legs. He was carrying a backpack with personal belongings, police said.
Anyone with information related to this case is encouraged to contact Detective
Kris Palma at (510) 621-1276, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Richmond’s
anonymous tip line at (510) 307-T1PS (8177) or Non-Emergency 24 hour number at (510) 233-1214.