Hundreds Join Search for Missing British Student at Va. University

Hundreds of people were expected to join a search Sunday in Virginia for a British college exchange student who disappeared 12 days ago, The Times of London reported.

Jonathan Dorey, a 22-year-old geography student from the University of the West of England, was last seen leaving the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) campus in the city of Richmond at around 11 a.m. ET on March 2.

He had his mountain bike, a backpack and his mobile phone with him.

His worried friends have spread the word of his disappearance with a Facebook group which now has nearly 19,000 members.

Bob Beebe, a friend of Dorey’s family who is acting as their spokesman, said that the latest search attempt would focus on a rural area near the VCU campus.

“There’s a very large group of people gathering around the Belle Isle area, which was the last known message link to Jonny’s phone,” he said.

“It’s a beautiful rural setting, very popular with mountain bikers and walkers. He may have gone off on a mountain bike trail, had an accident and injured himself. If he’s lying there we want to find him.”

Police said that there was no evidence of foul play. Detectives have been collecting electronic information in a bid to piece together his last movements.

Beebe said it was hoped that these clues, along with help from people in the local area, would help the search team to retrace Dorey’s steps and follow his planned movements.

“Someone somewhere must have seen Jonny Dorey that Tuesday,” he said.

“All it takes is somebody sending a message from an internet cafe, a phone box (phone booth), Twitter, and that single piece of information will help to complete that very complex jigsaw.”

Dorey’s parents have traveled from their home in Guernsey to the U.S. to aid in the search. VCU has offered a $5,000 reward for information which helps to locate the missing student.

Click here for more from The Times of London.