He was last seen outside a Biddeford convenience store at 2 a.m., looking for a ride to North Conway, New Hampshire.

Angel “Tony” Torres, a bright, hardworking 21-year-old who had just decided to move in with his girlfriend and was working on his undergraduate degree in Massachusetts, was never seen again. That was in 1999.

Torres’ parents will announce Friday an increase of the reward to $15,000 for information that leads to the recovery of Torres’ body, up from $5,000, said Ramona Torres, his mother. Saturday will mark the 17th anniversary of the day her son disappeared.

“We’re hoping this makes someone talk,” Ramona Torres said Thursday. “We’re hoping the person who killed my son, or knows who killed my son, can bring themselves peace.”

Troopers with the Maine State Police are expected to give an update on the case Friday, and to ask the public to come forward with information about what happened to Torres.

The increased reward money comes from two childhood friend of Torres, Jason Kohn and Abe Chappell, and Chappell’s wife, Ariana.

Kohn, 38, now lives in Fort Myers, Florida. He said he lost touch with Torres when the two went to different high schools, but understands the anguish felt by Ramona Torres.

“I want to see Ramona get the closure that she needs,” said Kohn. “I want there to be peace. I want the people to be brought to justice who are responsible. And if that could be achieved by a measly five grand, wouldn’t that be amazing?”

Chappell, also 38, said that once he heard that his classmate and friend was putting up some of the reward money, he knew he had to do the same. Chappell said he now lives in New York City, and because of the distance he no longer lives with the day-to-day reminders that Angel’s fate is still unknown. But Chappell’s desire to help has not waned. He spends Christmas with the Torres family every year.

“A kind of light bulb went on, that if you can add something to the reward that would compel somebody to come forward to find an answer, I couldn’t think of a better way for that money to be spent,” Chappell said.

State police consider Torres’ disappearance a missing person case, but suspect foul play was involved.

No one has ever been arrested or charged, but police believe that the sale or purchase of drugs could have been involved in his suspected death.

The Maine State Police lists 24 missing persons on its website dating back to 1971. Although Torres is presumed dead – his family had a certificate of death drawn up some years ago – the circumstances have never been verified. His body has never been found, and there was never a crime scene to investigate.

Kohn said he and Torres were friends in middle school. Torres was a year younger, but they played sports together and hung out on weekends.

At the beginning of high school, Torres left Fryeburg Academy to attend Bonny Eagle High School for three years before finishing back at Fryeburg Academy. By that time, Kohn had already graduated and left to attend college in Colorado.

The two friends never reconnected.

“When I learned about the terrible thing, potentially, that had occurred, I felt horrible,” said Kohn. “I never reached out to tell the family about how horrible I felt. Over the years I had children of my own, and I continued to see the pain and anguish that Ramona kept experiencing. Ramona needs some closure in her life.”