UPDATED: Family working with police, community to find missing Ventnor man

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Police in Ventnor are interviewing the family and friends of Kennedy Rios, 21, of South Troy Avenue, who went missing in the frigid, early morning hours on Wednesday after attending a poker party at a friend’s house. Police in Ventnor are interviewing the family and friends of Kennedy Rios, 21, of South Troy Avenue, who went missing in the frigid, early morning hours on Wednesday after attending a poker party at a friend’s house.

VENTNOR – Troopers from the New Jersey State Police Marine Services Division conducted a second search of the waters off Ski Beach on Tuesday, Jan. 14 but found no signs of Kennedy Rios, 21 of South Troy Avenue, who has been missing since the frigid early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 8.

Rios attended a party on Victoria Avenue in Ventnor Tuesday night, but left shortly after midnight following an argument with his friends. He left the party without his coat, hat, gloves and cell phone. The temperature at 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 8 was 10 degrees, with a wind chill factor of minus 4 degrees.

“We did s second search of the bay today and had no findings,” Ventnor Police Lt. Steven Ireland said on Jan. 14. “We have no additional leads or information about what led to his disappearance. The family is actively looking and we are offering them all the help we can.”

Rios’ sister, Luz Rios, 25, also of South Troy Avenue, said she is hopeful that her brother is safe.  She last saw her brother about 4 p.m. on Jan. 7.

“He was eating in the dining room and told my mom he took some DayQuil because he was not feeling well. Then, his friend came in with a case of beer and they went to play poker with a few friends,” she said.

Family members reported Rios missing about 5 p.m. on Wednesday after he did not report for work as a houseman on the swing shift at Borgata.

“We called his work and they told us he was no-call, no-show, which is unlike him,” Luz Rios said.

Ireland said there were no calls to police about any disturbance at the party. Nevertheless, Luz Rios believes all the partygoers were intoxicated on beer and tequila.

“They kept drinking and arguing and then Kennedy just left. They’re good kids, but I guess because they were all drunk, they just didn’t think anything about it. How can you let your friend leave like that without his coat when it’s so cold outside?” she said.

Rios was last seen on a video recording captured by a security camera at the Carisbrooke Inn at the corner of Victoria and Ventnor avenues, about 10 blocks from his home.

“He was seen at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning walking westbound on the 5400 block of Ventnor Avenue,” Ireland said. There have been no other leads since then.

Police contacted the Atlantic City K-9 Unit, which tracked Rios’ scent from that location, across the Dorset Avenue Bridge into Ventnor Heights. The track ended at Ski Beach at the end of Dorset Avenue. Local and State Police searched the frozen waters of the bay on the morning of Jan. 9, but did not find Rios.

“I don’t know why he would walk right past our house and go to Ski Beach. I’m hoping someone saw he was drunk and picked him up, gave him a place to stay and that he’s still recuperating,” she said.

“We’re checking every possible lead, including at work at the casino, homeless shelters, and friends and relatives,” Ireland said.

Family members are passing out flyers requesting the community’s help in finding Rios.

“We’ve been looking everywhere. We’re calling on local businesses and homeowners who may have surveillance systems to review their tapes,” Luz Rios said.

The family is also using social media to help find Rios. Those interested may visit the Help Us Find Kennedy Rios page on Facebook.

Rios is 5 feet 6 inches tall and 165 pounds, with a stocky build. He has short black hair, brown eyes and brown skin. He was last seen wearing a dark red plaid flannel shirt and blue jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to call Ventnor police at 609-822-2101.


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