Missing College Student No Longer Missing?

By Dan Stamm
|  Thursday, May 23, 2013  |  Updated 7:48 AM EDT
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Matthew Royer made it most of the way home from his college in Rhode Island. He went missing about 30 minutes out.


Five days after a college student was last seen, it appeared he had been found, but then even police pulled back on information they released earlier.

Pennsylvania State Police told NBC10 early Wednesday afternoon that Matthew Royer, 21, was no longer missing. But later in the day they then said nothing had changed in his case and that he was still missing, which is consistent with what his family is saying.

After her son never made it home from his college in Rhode Island, Janet Royer made a public plea for his safe return.

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"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."

Janet Royer spoke during a brief news conference held by Pennsylvania State Police who say they are investigating Matthew's disappearance as a missing person's case, although "it may be a voluntary move on Matthew's part," said a spokeswoman for state police at the time.

Matthew is from Collegeville, Montgomery County. He texted his mother on Thursday night saying he was headed home. He turned in the keys to his college apartment and got on the road around 6:30 p.m., according to investigators.

Matthew’s mother says it's out of character for her son to disappear without telling anyone, especially since he was scheduled to work at Skippack Golf Club this past weekend.

“He's not a child. He wouldn't tell me he's doing something and then not come home, he's a responsible 21-year-old,” said Royer.

While police, family and friends did not know where Matthew went, this timeline was compiled by police:

Thursday 6:30 p.m. -- Matthew Royer leaves his Rhode Island apartment and heads for home

Friday 1:58 a.m. -- police trace Royer's last cell phone ping -- or signal to a cell tower --  in the Allentown, Pa. area.

Friday 2:07 a.m. -- Surveillance video of Matthew buying gas and water at a Sunoco along Route 100 in Allentown, Pa.

Friday 1 p.m. -- Royer's car seen at Route 501 and U.S. Route 422 in Myerstown, Lebanon County, Pa.

That last location is about one hour and 15 minutes from Royer's home.

"His car would be stuffed with dirty laundry, full of stuff...he was coming home," said Janet Royer.

Family members and neighbors passed out flyers Sunday in an effort to find the missing college student.

"We are here for you," his mother said in her plea. "We love you and miss you."


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