Deputies say family members last saw Vincent Carlisle, Jr. on Sunday. Family and friends told ABC11 they fear the worst and are holding out little hope the teen is still alive.
"Vincent, he is a cool guy, a good person," friend Brian Ritchey said. "[I] am depressed, sad, mad, just wondering what happened - how it happened. I mean, at least he is in a better place."
Pictures on Carlisle's Facebook page reflect a young man's joy in living.
On Wednesday, classmates, friends and family gathered at his Spring Lake home to comfort each other.
Carlisle's father told ABC11 he wasn't ready to talk, but he said investigators told the family not to hold out too much hope.
"I think we all have the same belief. Yeah, I think we all feel the same way that I think they are trying to prepare us for something," neighbor and friend Niya Washington said.
Sources close to the case tell ABC11 investigators confirmed that Carlisle hasn't used his cell phone or accessed his Facebook page since Sunday.
Family members and friends also say they've been told Carlisle may have been involved in a confrontation Sunday night. A source close to the case also confirmed investigators have searched wooded areas in Cumberland and Harnett counties, but so far have not found a trace of the missing teen.
For now, friends and family can only wait and pray for a miracle.
"None of this makes any sense," Washington said. "Whatever the case may be, I don't care how angry you are. This is just pointless, and I don't understand why he is not here."