River search to resume Thursday for missing VCU exchange student

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Police and rescue crews will return to Richmond's Rocketts Landing area Thursday to resume the search for a missing VCU exchange student.

They spent about four hours Wednesday looking for additional clues after some of Jonathan Dorey's belongings were found just off Dock Street near the James River. Dorey's parents declined to comment this new development.

Hours after combing the James with poles and hooks, Richmond fire and rescue crews called it a night. But the search for Dorey is far from over.

"We're trying to organize resources to get some additional help from the city and of course Henrico County is just around the bend, so we may want to bring in some resources from Henrico to join VCU police," said VCU Spokesman Mike Porter.

Dorey, a VCU exchange student from England, hasn't been seen since March 2. The significant break came about 1 p.m. Wednesday when a citizen called VCU police about finding Dorey's belongings just west of Rocketts landing. Reports indicated it was Dorey's backpack.

VCU officials say Dorey's belongings were found on land but the focus of the search was in the water. Dive teams were looking  for any additional evidence or signs of Dorey. Searchers never got in the water, they scoured the north shoreline in boats. Quite a sight for the many fishermen nearby.

"I heard the reports on TV but I just don't know. Unfortunately if it is we didn't come to see this today," said Henry Smith.

Just hours earlier, Dorey's parents, Debbie and Alan, made a video plea.

"We're desperate for any information on his whereabouts," said Alan Dorey.

The video statement released by VCU lasted less than two minutes.

"Just come home. Just get in touch with somebody, okay? We love you so much," said Debbie Dorey.

Through an email, the Dorey family spokesman said there would be no comment at this time from his parents about Wednesday's developments.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.