Police using AI to find clues in 31-year-old cold case of missing South Jersey boy

Mark Himebaugh vanished near his family's home on Sunray Road on November 25, 1991.

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Friday, May 26, 2023
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MIDDLE TWP., New Jersey (WPVI) -- Police in South Jersey are turning to artificial intelligence in hopes of finding new clues in a 31-year-old cold case.

Mark Himebaugh was 11 years old when he vanished near his family's home on Sunray Road in Del Haven back on November 25, 1991.

He was last seen around 4 p.m. when his mother allowed him to observe firefighters extinguishing a small brush fire a quarter of a mile from their house. He was reported missing at 5 p.m. that same night.

Mark Himebaugh

The case has remained unsolved to date.

On Wednesday, Middle Township Police Chief Chris Leusner said the department and the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office were partnering with Tabtu Corp and its service provider Terawe to use Vollee Artificial Intelligence to comb through evidence to help "find patterns that may not be readily apparent."

The department says the use of the Vollee Neural AI Assistant, built on Microsoft's Azure cloud service, enables advanced compute and processing capabilities.

"I want to thank the Vollee team and Microsoft for partnering with us on this important project", said Chief Leusner, who is retiring on June 1st. "It is important that we use every available resource and the latest technology to help us find Mark. My hope is this pilot program will help us solve Mark's case and be used as a model to help with other cold cases."

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office at 609-465-1135 or the Middle Township police at 609-465-8700.