18-year-old Jake Ziegler and 17-year-old Ray Pierce of Catawba County told friends they were heading to Myrtle Beach and haven’t been seen since.
Volunteer search crews have been combing parts of Horry County after a psychic told the families the boys’ car overturned in a ditch in a deserted areas.
The two left for Myrtle Beach early Saturday morning, texting and calling friends as they traveled south along I-77.
Deputies said that communication stopped in Fairfield County according to the last ping recorded on cellphone tower No. 12.
“We just learned tower 12 is this one behind me, and at 2:44 in the morning, their cellphone hit off that tower. They were 1.7 miles south of that tower,” said Chief Deputy Keith Lewis.
For much of the day, deputies were on four-wheelers searching along the interstate.
High above a state law enforcement division helicopter circled looking for Ziegler’s green 2006 Pontiac G-6.
Investigators said its color could make it difficult to spot.
“I’m very worried. Time is ticking and when the sun goes down you can’t do much, so daylight is very important,” said Michelle Pierce.
Other family members are along the Carolina coast looking as well. They are hoping the two friends didn’t get into an accident and will turn up soon. Ray Pierce’s younger sister had this message for her big brother.
“‘Ray, come home right now’ — that’s definitely what I’d say to him and that I love him,” said Pierce.
WSOC-TV contributed to this report.