Although it`s been 22 years, his family isn`t giving up on this cold case.
They held a candlelight vigil at Jaycee Park, not far from where he disappeared. They`re determined to find his remains.
FOX 17 asked his cousin Kellie Green what keeps her going. “My love for Rich, he was one of the coolest people I ever knew. He was a happy happy man. He knew how to laugh at a good joke, and he could tell a good joke,” Green said.
Hitchcock, who was also known as Richie, was 21 year old when he disappeared.
Over the years, the case turned cold for Allegan police. That’s a tough reality for Richard’s brother Steve.
“Whoever did it. Whatever happened to him, whoever did it. Hopefully they come forward and that`s what I wish, is to have them come forward, or mainly to find him. Bring him home,” Steve Hitchcock said.
The family’s got some help. Green says a Facebook page for Richard got the attention of the Missing You Foundation, which organizes searches.
The group Mid-Michigan Working Dogs is also helping out. Searcher Paul Bodnar says dogs like Zsa Zsa can detect bones at least 150 years old, buried six feet deep.
More searches are planned in January. The family is following up on anonymous tips from the public to hopefully bring closure and make this the last vigil for Richard.
“We`re very hopeful that those tips are going to lead us in the direction that we want and get to the end. That`s what we`re looking for,” Green said.
“And 22 years is a long time for somebody to hold that in and keep that on their conscience and thank God that there`s people out there that are willing to get it off their chest,” she added.