Northern Virginia family continues search for missing man 3000+ days since seeing him last

DCW50 News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

NOKESVILLE, VA. -- The Prince William County Police are asking for the public's help in a missing person case that is now over 3,000 days old.

Shane Donahue, 23, was last seen alive on March 22, 2010, leaving his parents' house in Nokesville, Va. He had been there working on a four-wheeler with a friend, Timothy Hickerson. The two left in Hickerson's truck that afternoon, apparently going to Donahue's home two miles down the road, but Donahue has never been heard from or seen since.

Donahue's mother said for her son to just disappear was out of character for him.

"He always worried about me. Especially when I was very sick and Bubba wouldn’t do that. He made sure that he contacted me everyday," said Donna Donahue.

Since his disappearance, his family has constructed a large banner on the road outside their home that tracks how many days he has been missing and has a number that people can call if they have any information.

"We put it up maybe a year, a year later," said Donahue. "To show how much we love him and how much we miss him and that maybe someone seeing this sign will call and maybe, you know, give some information."

Prince William County Police added that Donahue has left no digital footprint for them to trace, as both of his cellphones were either turned off or went dead within minutes after he left his parents' home.

"Probably interviewed close to a hundred different people in reference to this. We have also had, approximately 21 tips come in from Crime Solvers," said Cold Case Unit Det. Brian Cavanaugh. He added that while they always like to hold out hope that someone who is missing may be found alive, the nature of some of the tips suggest Donahue has been killed. " We’ve used cadaver dogs in some situations, we’ve also utilized the department’s dive team to search different ponds within the county."

Cavanaugh said that while police do not a body, they think they have a motive. He said some leads suggest Donahue suffered from prescription drug abuse and was a "low-end dealer".

"Unfortunately, when somebody gets involved in the drug trade, bad things are going to happen," added Cavanaugh.

Cavanaugh said so far, no one has been eliminated from their suspect list in the case, but would not say how many people are on that list.

He added that the break in the case will likely come from Donahue's inner-circle of friends.

"People that he grew up with that, maybe, now that it’s eight years down the road, that, maybe, they did some growing up and now they may have families of their own, kids of their own, and I’m hoping once we reach out to them that they might change their mind and help the police investigation a little bit more," said Cavanaugh.

It is a plea shared by Donahue's mother.

"They need to tell me where he is. That’s the only closure we’re going to have," said Donna Donahue. "I think it’s been long enough that we need to solve this."

And as the family continues to ask for tips, they have also recently founded a foundation in Donahue's name, called "The Shane Donahue Foundation", that aims to combat the drug problem in Prince William County.

Anyone with information about Donahue's case is asked to contact the Prince William County Police Department at 703-792-5123 or by email at

DCW50 Exclusives

More DCW50 Exclusives

More News

More News


Latest News

More DCW50 News