Petal superintendent issues statement regarding missing student

Published: May. 26, 2015 at 3:38 PM CDT|Updated: May. 26, 2015 at 3:45 PM CDT
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Omar Gonzalez, Photo Source WLOX
Omar Gonzalez, Photo Source WLOX

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - A Petal student has been missing since Sunday when he and a friend disappeared while taking a trip to Ship Island. The U.S. Coast Guard was able to find and rescue his friend, 17-year-old Trent Randall, and continue to search for 16-year-old Omar Gonzalez.

The Petal School District expressed their condolences to the family, and have taken active measures to do everything they can to assist them.

"Obviously it's a very difficult time right now; our thoughts and prayers are with Omar and his family, with all the search crews, and everybody involved," said Matt Dillon, Superintendent of the Petal School District. "As a district, we're just keeping in contact with the parents, we've reached out to them on the telephone, we've also sent a school official over there."

Dillon said that everyone in the district has been keeping the families in their thoughts.

"I'll be traveling over there to visit with the family, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family right now and the search efforts in regards to Omar," Dillon said. "In addition to that, we're also thinking about Trent Randall recovering at the hospital as well, and we want to continue to lift him up, and our thoughts and prayers are with that family as well."

Dillon also said he hasn't had contact with students and peers of Gonzalez due to summer break, but administration and teachers spoke highly of his personality and academics.

"During the course of the weekend, we've gotten a lot of texts from administrators, and telephone calls from administrators; how he's a great student," said Dillon. "It's just a difficult time right now, for our school district and community. We just want to rally around the parents and let them know we're there to support them during this time."

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