EVERETT — The young man ran out of money one morning last month near Marysville. He couldn’t pay the bus fare to get home.
No one has heard from Jacob Hilkin since.
His parents have spent every day looking for their 24-year-old son. Since Jan. 23, they have searched communities as far south as Bothell, and up to Smokey Point. They walked through bus stations, wooded areas, abandoned houses and homeless encampments.
“He has never disappeared like this before,” his mother, Marni Pierce, said this week.
The mother and son usually talk every day.
Hilkin had moved into his own house in Mukilteo over the summer. He had successfully completed a drug treatment program, landed a job and was supporting himself. Though money was tight. Pierce would cook her son dinner when he visited and send him home with sandwiches for work lunches.
Hilkin texted his mother Jan. 22. He asked if he could visit and stay the night at her home in Everett. He arrived with a bag of clothes, his Xbox and computer.
Pierce said goodnight to her son around 9 p.m. He gave her a hug and a kiss.
He and two friends went to the Tulalip Resort Casino shortly before midnight. Before long, Hilkin and one friend were ready to leave. They waited in the parking lot. Their driver, the other friend, was still in the casino gambling.
A security guard eventually asked Hilkin and his friend to move along.
Hilkin headed toward the bus stop by himself. His phone had died, so he couldn’t call anyone for a ride.
Pierce woke up the next morning and Hilkin was still gone. She thought he might have stayed out with his friends.
When Pierce returned home from work that evening, her son’s belongings were exactly where he had left them. The Xbox was still on.
She called hospitals in the area and checked with local police departments.
A Tulalip police officer had seen Hilkin on Jan. 23 around 10:20 a.m. in a homeless encampment near the casino. He told the officer he was trying to find his way home.
“I’m heartbroken and scared to death for my son,” Pierce said.
Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; ctompkins @heraldnet.com.
A search is scheduled for Saturday in Marysville. Anyone interested in volunteering can meet at 10 a.m. in the parking lot of Albertsons in the Marysville Town Center Mall.
Anyone with information about Hilkin’s whereabouts is asked to call the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office tipline at 425-388-3845.
Hilkin is 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. He always wears glasses.
Marni Pierce has offered a $5,000 reward to anyone who brings Hilkin home.