ST. MARY'S COUNTY, Md. — The search continues for missing 44-year-old Ernie Sigmon who was last seen Wednesday December 29th. According to family members he went out on a solo fishing trip.
He was last heard from around 3:12 p.m.
Ernie Sigmon's children, Ernest and Isabella, spoke to WMAR-2 News about the community search currently underway.
"We're not giving up hope," said Ernest. "He spends every weekend out there. If there’s anyone that can navigate those waters, it’s him."
The family believes Ernie is still alive and that he may have been pulled overboard while using planer boards.
"I just know that he wouldn’t leave us," said Isabella. "Anyone that knows my dad knows that he’s very capable of getting to land."
Sigmon was last seen wearing a black knit hat, a black heated Under Armour jacket, jeans and green boots. He also has a tribal-like tattoo on his lower left arm.
Authorities say he left shore around 1:00 p.m., from the 40300 block of Waterview Drive on a gray and white 2020 Open Sportsman 25ft vessel in the area of Plum Point in Prince Frederick area.
Sigmon’s cell phone was pinging approximately one mile off of Dares Beach in Calvert County. Investigators found his phone on board.
"We've just been getting a lot of prayers and text messages," said Sigmon's son.
The Facebook group SOMD Search Parties has helped the family with various searches. Both from the air, on land and in the water.
In addition, Sigmon's family said they're conducting their own searches every day.
"We’re looking under brush, anything to keep shelter and to stay warm with the weather being this cold," said Isabella. "I’m just trying to think of what he would do. We’ve been playing music that we frequently listen to just so that he will hopefully hear it. I carry a speaker. Ernie carries a speaker. We'll scream out his name."
"We're not giving up hope," said his son Ernie. "We’re going to be looking every day until we can find some answers so we’re not giving up and we hope that everyone else out there looking feels the same way."
Maryland Department of Natural Resources is currently the lead on this investigation.
In a statement to WMAR, a DNR spokesperson said:
"The search for Mr. Ernest Sigmon III is ongoing. The Maryland Natural Resources Police have been searching every single day since becoming aware of this incident. They have used every available resource to assist them with this search, such as sonar equipment, boat crews, and allied agencies. They have also conducted aircraft searches, weather permitting. Additionally, officers searched Mr. Sigmon's last known whereabouts as well as surrounding areas. We can confirm that we have received tips, and officers have acted upon them. We also encourage anyone who has any tips or helpful information to please contact our dispatch office IMMEDIATELY at 410-260-8888."