May 22, 2012 -- Police in Portland, Maine, are searching for a Harvard Business School student who has been missing since early Sunday morning after spending Saturday night in the Old Port area of town, ABC affiliate WMTW-TV in Portland reported.
Nathan Bihlmaier, 31, had traveled to Portland from Cambridge, Mass., with two friends to celebrate his upcoming graduation from Harvard Business School, which is scheduled for Thursday. After separating from his friends at the RiRa Irish Pub around closing time at 1 a.m. Sunday, Bihlmaier was not seen again, according to The Portland Press Herald.
Police said in a news conference Monday that dive teams had found an article of clothing while searching the water in the area near RiRa, but did not confirm what the item was or whether it belonged to Bihlmaier, Harvard Business School spokesman Brian Kenny said.
Kenny drove from Cambridge to Portland to help investigators with their search, along with more than a dozen of Bihlmaier's classmates and Bihlmaier's wife of one and a half years, Nancy Ho Bihlmaier, who is pregnant with the couple's first child.
Kenny said Bihlmaier's parents flew to Portland from their home in Kansas, and the entire group posted flyers around town with the hopes that local residents might have seen Bihlmaier.
"We are trying to be optimistic and hope for the best possible outcome, and that would be that Nate and Nancy are at commencement on Thursday," Kenny said.
Bihlmaier had been asked to leave the bar because he was intoxicated, but his friends didn't see him leave and tried to reach him on his cell phone, police said, according to WMTW. Based on their phone conversations with him, Bihlmaier's friends believed he was lost.
"He was saying, 'I am in front of this building right now,' which is not uncommon for somebody that may be in fact lost to give a landmark in hopes somebody else can pin-point that," Portland police chief Michael Sauschuck told MWTW.
His friends returned to their hotel room, assuming Bihlmaier would eventually appear, but called the police hours later when he hadn't returned, according to the Press Herald.
On Sunday, police tracked Bihlmaier's cell phone transmissions and found that he had remained within the Old Port area, but his phone battery died about 40 minutes after he left the bar, the newspaper reported.
Police, dive teams and the Coast Guard will continue to search the area where the clothing was found, Kenny said.
Bihlmaier is originally from Kansas, and had recently started a new job as a director at healthcare company Optum Insight, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Bihlmaier's friends said he's extremely passionate about the field of health care, and described him as "thrilled about the prospect of being a dad," according to Kenny. He had even started writing a blog about his impending fatherhood.
"He has a lot going for him, and was in a really great place both personally and professionally," Kenny said.