Bard asks for help in finding missing friend

DETROIT--The first indication that Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard received that his childhood friend Matt Hill was missing came when another buddy called and asked if Hill might have come to Boston for a visit this week. That was Thursday morning, and Bard was in Detroit at the time with the ballclub.

Hill, who had been a groomsman in Bard's wedding, was last seen in the Washington, D.C., area on Tuesday morning, near the home of a student from George Washington University whom he was mentoring. With his friend still missing, Bard asked reporters covering the Red Sox if they would publish the link to the Facebook page that has been set up to assist in the search for the missing 26-year-old.

The link is www.facebook.com/findmatthill. Police have yet to recover Hill's car, a 1996 black Honda CX with a D.C. license plate of DT-2747.

Bard asked that anyone with information call the D.C. Metro Police at 202-730-1903.

Hill, who grew up with Bard in North Carolina, was working in a campus outreach ministry out of George Washington University. His disappearance, Bard said, "was extremely out of character."

"He was one of the most positive, outgoing, happy people I've ever met,'' Bard said. "I'm not just saying that. I think anyone who met him would say that. He loves his job, loves the people he works with. He's not married. There's nothing tying him down, nothing to run from. So that's why this all seems so strange.''

Bard said he lasted exchanged texts with Hill on Monday, with the team in Cleveland to play the Indians.

"He's a big Indians fan,'' Bard said.

Hill is listed as 6-foot-2, 185 pounds. His photo is on the Facebook page.

"He's a clean-cut guy, one of my best friends growing up," Bard said. "He's never done a drug in his life, so we're 99 percent sure that something external was involved.''

Members of Hill's family and friends are in the D.C. area assisting police in their search. Amy Nelson of ESPN.com reports that volunteers were passing out fliers at the Washington Nationals' game Saturday afternoon asking for help.

"It's not easy,'' Bard said. "I haven't considered leaving, but at the same time, I don't think I go two minutes without thinking about it.''