Family searching for Duluth teen missing since SundaySylvester “Sly” McCurry went to Stargate Nightclub in Superior on Sunday with a bandaged cut finger and a plan to stay at a hotel because Monday was a school holiday.
By: Jana Hollingsworth, Duluth News Tribune, Pine Journal
Sylvester “Sly” McCurry went to Stargate Nightclub in Superior on Sunday with a bandaged cut finger and a plan to stay at a hotel because Monday was a school holiday.
McCurry, 18, spoke to his best friend, Keegan Couillard, at 10:45 p.m. Sunday in the packed club, which was open that night to 16- to 20-year-olds. That was his last contact with anyone.
McCurry, a senior at Duluth East High School, has been living with Couillard and his parents in Duluth’s Chester Park neighborhood since August. The young men told Paul and Jennifer Couillard that they were going to a birthday party Sunday night. Instead, they had plans to stay at the Superior Inn after going to Stargate.
Videotape from the club shows McCurry, a Duluth East senior, leaving Stargate alone through a back entrance about 11 p.m.
Keegan Couillard, who was unaware McCurry had left, assumed he would see him back at the hotel room, his mother said.
He heard from a friend that night that McCurry’s severe cut, which he sustained at his job as a line cook, had begun to bleed through the bandages, so he hoped someone had brought him to a hospital when he didn’t show up at the room, she said.
He told his parents Monday night about McCurry’s disappearance, and the Couillards filed a report Tuesday morning.
“We are concerned,” said Brad Wick, Duluth police public information officer. “It’s probably the most time we’ve put into a missing person lately,” he said, because the disappearance doesn’t fall in line with McCurry’s character.
Duluth police are investigating the disappearance of the 5-foot-11 light-skinned black teen, who weighs about 150 pounds and has short brown hair and brown eyes. He was wearing blue jeans and white Nike shoes.
Family and friends said Wednesday that McCurry wouldn’t leave town without telling his close friends or girlfriend, and he doesn’t have a car.
“He’s not the kind of person to take off,” Jennifer Couillard said.
“He knows us well enough to know we might get mad but we would never … We just want him back,” she said.
McCurry was described by friends and family as an intelligent, outgoing, positive man. He works at Fitger’s Brewhouse, made the B honor roll in the fall, and recently played Harry in the Duluth Gospel Tabernacle’s production of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” He enjoys attending church services, Jennifer Couillard said, and is an avid snowboarder with a Spirit Mountain season pass. He speaks regularly with his family and talks to his girlfriend, Grace Buck, at least twice a day on the phone.
“He is one of the few teenagers who will wake up in the morning smiling and happy,” Jennifer Couillard said. “He’s been such a good friend to my son and us. Anything he can to do to help, he wants to help.”
More than a dozen friends and relatives gathered at the Couillard house in Duluth’s Chester Park neighborhood Wednesday to plan a search. McCurry’s half-sister, Ana Gamber, 22, said she hadn’t been close to him for some time, but he visited her over Christmas and she said he seemed happy.
“He’s been a troubled kid,” she said, with past problems with school and family. “But he’s been getting it together. He has a family who loves him and we want him to come home.”
Duluth police had no new leads Wednesday evening. Superior police had searched the Stargate area with a canine unit Wednesday but hadn’t found anything, Wick said, and police have checked with area hospitals. Anyone with information about McCurry’s disappearance should call 911.