• Fashion designer, a Pine-Richland graduate, missing in N.Y.


    NEW YORK CITY - A high-profile New York fashion designer who has been missing for several days is a 2001 graduate of Pine-Richland High School.James Ott, known by everyone as “Jay,” was last seen on Saturday night in his Brooklyn apartment, New York City police Detective Brian Sessa said on Thursday.

    This article was written by Channel 11's news exchange partners at TribLIVE.

    “We don't know where he is and we're trying to find him,” Sessa said.

    Scores of friends such as actresses Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and retired Pine-Richland High School English teacher Lisa Erb have been sending messages to social media sites in the hope that someone will recognize Ott's picture and call police.

    “This is such a shock,” Erb said. “This kid is remarkable. He's 6-foot-2, very good looking. He was always a light in the room, such a wonderful person. You knew he was destined for great things.”

    Various media reports indicate that Ott's father, Robert Ott, who lives in Gibsonia, has gone to New York to help find his son and that friends have been placing posters with Ott's picture and description throughout the city. No one answered the phone at the Ott home on Thursday night.

    Ott, 31, weighs 175 pounds and has blue eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt, gray pants, yellow scarf, blue knit cap, white sneakers and glasses, Sessa said. Anyone with information about him is asked to call detectives at 718-963-5368.

    Ott's friends became concerned when he didn't show up for work in The Dock Group on Monday and did not call.

    Erb said she and Ott speak by phone a couple of times a year and that they last spoke about two weeks ago, when he called her after returning from what he called a successful fashion show in Paris.

    “We had a nice chat. He is very effusive,” Erb said. “He has a gift to make you feel special.”

    Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or mhasch@tribweb.com.


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