Mysterious circumstances surrounding Richmond teen athlete’s disappearance

Seventeen-year-old Antoine Whittley of Point Richmond has been missing since Wednesday and the circumstances surrounding his disappearance are unusual.

He was on his way home after visiting a friend in Richmond.

But there was some sort of disagreement with his ride-share driver while they were on the Richmond San Rafael Bridge. Investigators say that's the last time he was seen.

Richmond police are joining forces with other law enforcement agencies such as the Contra Costa County Sheriff and the Solano County Sheriff in its search for Antoine in the Bay by the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

"I'm not sleeping. I'm not resting. I'm not going to be able to go to sleep until I find my son," says Tanetta Morgain, Antoine's mother. 

Family, friends and supporters gathered at the 300 block of Marina Way South in Richmond to pass out flyers asking the public for help in finding Antoine.

On Wednesday night, police say the 11th grader was visiting a friend in the area.

Shortly before 8:30 p.m., Antoine was picked up by a rideshare driver to be taken home to Pt. Richmond.

But he never made it. 

"The rideshare driver missed the exit and accidentally ended up on the bridge," says Richmond Police Sgt. Aaron Pomeroy. "Something occurred while on the bridge between the driver and Antione and the decision was made to stop the vehicle and Antoine exited the vehicle."  

Police say Antoine got out of the vehicle midspan on the bridge of his own free will and hasn't been seen since, in person or on any surveillance video.

"We're still asking the officers to see if they can get footage of him and the Lyft driver entering through the toll plaza to confirm that he was in the car," says Anthony Whittley, the missing teen's father. 

Police say Antoine's cell phone pinged a tower in San Rafael indicating that he was on the bridge, matching the information the ride-share driver provided.

Police also say the driver and Antoine's friend described him as being paranoid the night he went missing. 

"It's been too many days and we're not giving up. We love him and we just want our family back," says Malikah Whittley, Antoine's sister. 

Family and friends say Antoine attends Kennedy High School where he's on the football team. He's number 23 and plays wide receiver. He also loves playing basketball.

They say he's not suicidal and has never gone without calling his family. 

"I'm thinking he's going to walk in that door and it's not happening. I'm not going to give up on my son. But I'm hoping that he shows up or if somebody got him-can they just let him go?" says Morgain. 

San Francisco police and Marin County Sheriff's Department are expected to join the search on the bay, which will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday. 

Anyone with information should contact Richmond police.