DETROIT –- Daniel Bard held his phone as he spoke to reporters in a clubhouse hallway this afternoon, glancing down every few seconds in hopes of seeing a message that has yet to come.
Matt Hill, a groomsman in Bard’s wedding, has been missing since Tuesday in the Washington, D.C., area. Hill is a Christian outreach worker at George Washington University.
“He’s a pretty good friend,” Bard said. “This is extremely out of character. He’s one of the most positive, outgoing, happy people I’ve ever met. I’m not just saying that. I think anyone’s whose met him would say that. … This all seems so strange.”
Bard grew up with Hill in North Carolina. The two exchanged text messages on Monday. A day later, Hill dropped off a student in the Chinatown section of Washington and has not been seen since.
His debit card charged $33.01 worth of gas in Arlington, Va., that day. Hill drives a 1996 black Honda Civic with DC tags DT2747.
Washington police have termed Hill a missing person.
“We’re 99 percent sure that something external was involved,” Bard said.
Hill’s father and other family and friends have gathered in Washington to search for him. Bard has been following the situation from afar.
“I’ve been calling a mutual friend twice a day to get updates,” Bard said. “It’s not easy. I haven’t considered leaving or anything like that. At the same time, I don’t think I can go two minutes without thinking about it. I’ve done as much as I can to help.”
Bard asked that people go to Facebook.com/findmatthill for more information.
“The biggest thing is to have people on the lookout for his vehicle,” Bard said.
Red Sox teammates, including Jon Lester and Jarrod Saltalamacchia have spread the word through their Twitter accounts.
“The toughest day was the first day I found out about it,” Bard said. “It was shock and now it’s become kind of a mystery we’re all trying to figure out. There are so few clues. The guys on the team have been pretty supportive and talking to me.”