Crews searching the James for missing VCU student

By Gene Petriello - bio | email
Posted by Iva Radman – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Rescue crews are on the James River, looking for any sign of missing VCU exchange student Jonathan Dorey.

Those search crews are out for a second day, after some of Dorey's belongings were found near Rockett's Landing at the Intermediate Terminal Wednesday.

At noon today, a Virginia State Police helicopter was going up and down the James nearly nine miles to Osbourne Landing in Henrico County, looking deep down into the murky water for any sign of Dorey.

A cadaver dog leads the way,looking to pick up the scent of a body -- along with several search crews, combing the James river inch by inch for missing Dorey.

On Wednesday, someone near the river spotted a reported bookbag. Investigators later said, what they found was Dorey's belongings.

But on Sunday, William Carney, who walks and fishes often near Rocketts landing, spotted something.

'I walked down to the end of the brick and there was a backpack down there," he said. "But, I never touched it. I just looked at it."

Carney says it turns out, that backpack he saw, is the same one reportedly taken by investigators on Wednesday.  He didn't think anything of the bag, since he spots stuff laying around here often.

"Sometimes you find clothes laying around, shirts and you, I don't do anything with it," he said.

But the finding by investigators is really the first big break in this case. And now Carney is trying to help too.

"Watching the water, and what is floating down the river," Carney said.

Dorey has been missing since March 2. He was seen leaving the Gladding Residence Center with his mountain bike. And about three weeks later, crews think they may be onto something along the James river.

"It's logical if you find evidence in a particular area that you're going to conduct a broader but concentrated search in the area around where you discovered the evidence," said Mike Porter, a VCU spokesman.

Those crews will only go in the water if the cadaver dog spots something. Until then, it's a meticulous search, from land and by air. All this, as a family pleas for the safe return of their missing son.

"Just come home, get in touch with somebody. Okay, I love you," said mother Debbie Dorey.

Crews will be back out this morning at Rockett's Landing to continue the search for the missing VCU exchange student.

Police and rescue crews will meet at 8 a.m., get their game plan together and then head back out to Rockett's Landing.

Crews searched the James River for hours yesterday using poles and hooks to find any clues of missing VCU exchange student Jonathan Dorey. That search came after VCU officials say police recovered some of Dorey's belongings yesterday afternoon but wouldn't comment on exactly what was found. Reports indicated Dorey's backpack was found.

A citizen called VCU police to the Rockett's lAnding area.

Dorey, an exchange student from England, has been missing since march 2nd.

He was last seen leaving Gladding Residence Center with his mountain bike.

Hours before the discovery, Dorey's parents Debbie and Alan made a video plea.

VCU officials say police still do not suspect foul play.

Search crews could possibly get some help from the city, as well as Henrico County in the search for Dorey.

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