The neighbors of missing college student Matthew Royer are grateful that he was found, safe, a week after he never made it home.
The confusing case of a missing college student from Montgomery County, Pa. has been solved.
Matthew Royer, 21, was located in North Carolina -- unharmed -- and has reunited with his family, according to Pennsylvania State Police.
It was exactly one week ago that Royer texted his mother to tell her he was headed home to Schwenksville, Pa. from Rhode Island University.
The drive takes about six hours.
Royer never made it home. Panic quickly set in.
His parents called police, who indicated from the start that whatever was going on with Royer, might be his own doing or decision. Police did pursue the search, treating Matthew's disappearance as a "missing person" case.
In the early days of the investigation, police determined that Matthew did get very close to home -- within an hour -- early Friday morning. Police found evidence that his cell phone reaching a tower in Allentown, Pa. around 2 a.m. They also found surveillance video of Matthew filling up his car at a gas station in Myerstown, Lebanon County, Pa. around 1 p.m. on Friday. That was the last clue of Royer's whereabouts that police and family shared with the public.
On Sunday, family members and neighbors passed out fliers in an effort to find the missing college student.
Then on Monday, Royer's mother, Janet Royer, made a public plea for her son to please come home or at least contact family members.
"Matthew, if you can hear this, no matter what the circumstances are, your friends and your family, we all love you. We're here for you," she said and asked for him to contact her. "We will come anywhere, anyplace, anytime for you."
At the same news conference, police indicated again that it was likely Matthew made up his own mind not to return home as planned.
Two more days went by with no developments and then on Wednesday, police and family members were giving out conflicting information on Royer's status. Early in the day, police reported he'd been found, but his family insisted that he was still missing. By early afternoon, state police pulled back on their earlier report and said that nothing had changed. Matthew was still missing.
So far, police are not giving out much information on the circumstances surrounding Royer's detour. They are not detailing exactly where he was found in North Carolina, how or why he ended up there instead of going home.
"The family requests that the media not contact them nor reveal his location," police said in a statement. "They wish to consider this a private and closed matter."
State police also confirmed that taxpayer money helped fund the search because police time and resources were used to assist the family.
Neighbors like Sue Klipp are relieved that Royer is okay.
"It's been terrible for us and it's only been that much more for the immediate family," Klipp said. "I can't imagine what they've been through. We're just so happy that he's safe."