While many families vacationed together, the Sigmon family of southern Maryland spent their time searching for their missing father.
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It’s been a week since Ernie Sigmon went on a solo fishing trip from his boat dock at his Mechanicsville home.
“He’s had a boat for some time; he goes fishing alone quite often, ”said Sigmon’s daughter, Isabella Sigmon.
The 44-year-old was last seen on December 29 as he headed north on the river with the promise of being back in time for dinner. When he did not arrive, his family reported him missing.
“If anyone knew about the waters, it was my father,” said Ernest Sigmaon. “Where it was, it was about an hour and a half by boat. The confidence you need to take such an open water boat trip is something only a skilled angler can do.”
The family believe Sigmon is still alive and may have fallen overboard while setting up his fishing gear and planks.
“We assume it was an accident or a complete accident for sure,” said Bella Sigmaon.
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Authorities say his cell phone rang about a mile from Dares Beach in Calvert County. It was there that they found his phone on board, his empty boat circling 4 miles from shore.
“Realistically as well as a personal point of view, we know our father, anyone who knows him knows he’s a fighter and very capable. If anyone could do it in this situation, that would be him, ”said Bella Sigman.
At the end of each long day, the nights at home without him seemingly become more difficult.
“I can’t quite figure it out. I’m going to bed at night and it doesn’t feel real to me,” said Ernest Sigmaon.
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The family say they took to social media, bringing together more than 8,000 volunteers who searched 20 miles of shore, up to 5 miles.
While the state has provided support in the air and on the water, the family say they would like to see more efforts to find their father.
“My family as a whole felt dissatisfied to say the least. They use more resources than ourselves… but at the same time, we understand that they are the state. They have the resources of the whole state to close at hand, “says Ernest Sigmon.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources police are investigating to locate Sigmon.
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In a statement to FOX 5, a spokesperson said they have searched every day since Ernie Sigmaon’s disappearance and have dedicated all available resources to the cause.