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New York college student missing for weeks 'grateful' after being found near Appalachian Trail

The 22-year-old Rochester Institute of Technology student who vanished on Nov. 20 without his phone, Matthew Grant, was located in Pennsylvania.

A Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) student from Michigan who disappeared just before Thanksgiving says he is "grateful" after being found safe in Pennsylvania.

Matthew Grant, 22, was seen driving away from his off-campus home in Henrietta, New York, on Nov. 20 before he vanished for weeks without his phone or wallet.

"I want to say a huge thank you to everyone that helped in the search process. I feel incredibly grateful to have people like you all in my corner," Grant said in a statement shared by family on Thursday. "It's hard to understand just how much support you will have, regardless of how you are doing personally. I am doing much better now that I am reunited with my family. It means the world to me. I don't have my phone right now but as soon as I do I will try and thank every person I can individually. I can't say it enough, thank you so much."

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office in New York confirmed that Grant had been located and "reunited with his family" in a statement shared with Fox News Digital. 

"Thank you to all of the deputies and investigators who worked so tenaciously, coordinating with multiple agencies, following up leads, using technology, and working with the family to locate Matthew," MCSO said. "We appreciate our partnership with the media, who helped spread awareness and our efforts to reunite him with his family."


On Tuesday, authorities in Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, located Grant's vehicle and began a grid search near Mount Minsi, which is accessible from the Appalachian Trail, on Wednesday. During the search, Grant reportedly learned that authorities were looking for him and he went to a police station in Palmerton to call his mother and inform her that he was safe, according to WHAM.

Palmerton is nearly 300 miles southeast of Rochester.


National Park Service spokesperson Kathleen Sandt confirmed the involvement of US Park Rangers and staff from Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (both NPS units) in the search for Grant.

Sandt added that Grant reportedly walked into a police station and said he believed people were looking for him, and "NPS rangers facilitated the reunion" of Grant and his family.

Sandra Johnson, RIT's senior vice president of student affairs, thanked the RIT community for "their steadfast support" in locating Grant.

"Missing RIT student Matthew Grant has been found and is safe. His family has posted information on social media thanking everyone for aiding in the search for their son, who went missing on Nov. 20 from Henrietta, N.Y," Johnson said. "Throughout this ordeal, the care, encouragement and assistance of this campus has been unwavering in the effort to aid in the search."

When he disappeared, Grant's family suspected he may have gone to the Adirondack Mountains based on his phone search history, according to WHAM.

The 22-year-old college student apparently told his roommates that he was going to meet up with friends just before he vanished from Rochester.

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