Family still waiting for son eight months after disappearance
For eight months there has been no sign of what happened to Matthew Jedediah “Jed” Hall.
Jed left his house at around 6 a.m. the morning of Jan. 22. No one has seen him or the silver 2009 Nissan Versa he took with him since then, and attempts to trace his phone have been unsuccessful.
His family saw no warning signs, and since his disappearance investigators haven’t found any sign of where he intended to go.
Allen Hall described his son as a good student who mentored his classmates and who wanted to join the military and was a member of the Civil Air Patrol.
“There’s been no updates whatsoever,” said Allen Hall, Jed’s father. “He’s managed to hide pretty good.”
Both Jed’s parents and police investigating his disappearance are skeptical Jed committed suicide, despite a threat to harm himself. Allen Hall worked as a police officer for several years, and said people who take their own life tend to be found relatively quickly.
Idaho Falls Police Department Sgt. Jon Johnson said investigators explored leads within a day of the investigation. Attempts to locate Jed by his phone have also been unsuccessful. Since then, police have been waiting to see if the silver 2009 Nissan Versa Jed left town in is found or stopped.
With hunting season and winter on the way, police are asking hunters to keep an eye out for the car in case Jed abandoned it in a remote location.
The one clue of Jed’s intentions comes from a journal left outside when he took the car. Allen was looking near the door where Jed had exited the house and found it in the snow.
The journal detailed items Jed intended to take with him. He listed not only survival supplies, but also plans to disguise himself, blend in so no one would notice him.
Allen said his son enjoyed a show with a similar premise, a 2017 CBS series called “Hunted.” The show was about teams of two attempting to avoid investigators for four weeks. Allen Hall said his son picked up on two mistakes the losing teams made: they used their phones, or they tried to contact friends and family. He would talk with family about the show and how to disappear, but never so intently that they thought he would attempt it himself.
“It’s not impossible to drop off,” Allen Hall said. “You just have to be able to make sacrifices.”
Since his disappearance Jed’s family has had to adjust to life without their 16-year-old son. Allen Hall said he and his wife think about their son every day. The concern and worry are still present, but life goes on.
Allen said he believes his son is smart enough to make it on his own. He said Jed is experienced at camping, including during the winter. Even so, Allen keeps himself ready to leave at any time.
“I’m set up so I can leave in half an hour,” he said. “There are no circumstances that can’t be overcome. I’m not mad at him, I respect what his reasons are, whether I agree with them or not.”
Anyone with information about Jed can contact 208-529-1200.