Rice University Student Disappears Before Exam Deadline

A straight-A computer science major at Rice University has been missing for nearly two weeks, but police said Wednesday they have few clues to go on.

Matthew J. Wilson, 20, of Haworth, Okla., was last seen by his roommate at their off-campus apartment on the evening of Dec. 14, five days before the deadline to turn in take-home exams.

Earlier that day, Wilson had withdrawn $400 from his bank account, which his family and authorities said was an unusual transaction. Wilson's car is also missing.

Rice Police Chief Bill Taylor said Wednesday that investigators have checked the account for further activity or clues but turned up nothing.

"There's no indication of any foul play," Taylor said. "We're at a wait and hold."

Taylor said there's nothing to suggest the $400 withdrawal was coerced because Wilson was back at his apartment that evening, along with his roommate.

He said authorities and Wilson's family in Oklahoma hoped the junior had gone off in search of solitude to prepare for finals. But the Dec. 19 deadline passed with no sign of him.

Wilson's roommate notified police Dec. 18 that Wilson had not been back to the apartment since the previous Saturday.

"We were hoping something might happen on Christmas Day, but still no sign of him, no clues, no nothing," Rice spokesman B.J. Almond said Wednesday.

The roommate tried to call Wilson's cell phone but discovered the phone was inside their apartment.

Wilson's mother, Cathy Wilson, has said it's not unusual for Matthew to ignore phone calls or e-mails while studying for final exams, but he never would have missed the deadline for tests and projects at school.

She last saw Wilson at Thanksgiving.