Jonny Dorey's parents plant tree in son's memory

By Tara Morgan - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The parents of a missing VCU British exchange student say they're trying to move forward with no answers as to where their son's remains might be. Debbie and Alan Dorey returned to Richmond to thank police and Jonny Dorey's friends for making every effort to find him. They planted this maple tree in his memory.

Debbie and Alan Dorey spoke candidly about their son Jonny.

"He was a person who had a great zest for life trying out any new experience yet it seems he had huge insecurities," said Alan.

The 22-year-old VCU exchange student vanished March 2nd. He left his dorm on his bike. His parents believe Jonny was depressed and took his own life by drinking a bottle of gin and jumping into the James River.

"He couldn't open up to his parents. He couldn't open up to his friends. [He] kept it inside for so long," said Debbie.

On March 24nd, Jonny's backpack and the liquor bottle were found on the dock near Rocketts Landing. His body was never found.

"We haven't had any fresh leads on in a long time. We're going to remain to carry this as an open missing persons case," said VCU Police Chief John Venuti.

Jonny's parents believe police and the FBI did all they could do.

"It's been relentless for the last six months so we can't thank them enough for the support they've given us," Alan said.

The Doreys found comfort in planting a maple tree on the VCU campus. They say these last few months have been a struggle, but they're moving forward with Jonny always in their hearts.

"From the depths of depression to feeling almost normal, but always Jonny's in the back of our minds," Alan said.

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