RIT student releases statement thanking everyone who helped search for him

Details on how Matthew Grant was found, safe

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UPDATE: Matthew Grant, the RIT who was found safe after going missing, released this statement on Facebook thanking everyone who helped in the search for him:

“Hello everyone, Matthew Grant here. 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. 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.”

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office tells News10NBC that missing Rochester Institute of Technology student Matthew Grant, has been found safe and reunited with his family.

Matthew, 22, actually turned himself in to police Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 13, in northeastern Pennsylvania. He walked into the Palmerton, Pennsylvania police station at about 4 p.m.to make a phone call to contact his family, saying there may be a missing-person report for him and people may have been looking for him, according to an officer with the Palmerton department.

Palmerton is on the edge of the Poconos, not far from Allentown. It’s about a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Matthew’s apartment in Henrietta.

His Jeep Cherokee had been located Tuesday about an hour away in the Delaware Water Gap in Pennsylvania, in a parking lot used by hikers on the Appalachian Trail — he had been hiking the trail and he had even signed in at the trail visitor log. The Jeep Cherokee hadn’t been seen there for several weeks until someone called police, who ran the license plate. Matthew’s family was notified and made their way to Pennsylvania, before Matthew turned up in Palmerton.

The discovery of the Jeep set off a search Wednesday along parts of the trail. About 30 firefighters and search-and-rescue crews scoured thousands of acres. But before they could find him, he had walked into that police station.

News10NBC spoke with Delaware Water Gap Fire Chief Howard Ike about the search efforts.

“We thought that over time, it was a few weeks that he was there, and the car was sitting there, and we believed he might have been in some peril,” Ike said, adding, “The terrain was very rocky. There were some deep drop-offs for the cliffs.”

Police said Matthew said he had a negative reaction with some people on the trail, which may have led him to end the hike.

They said Matthew’s mother came to the police station and picked him up. They were meeting Wednesday evening with U.S. Park Service Police at the Delaware Water Gap.

“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,” said Deputy Brendan Hurley with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

The Rochester Institute of Technology released the following statement after Matthew was found:

“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 November 20th from Henrietta.

Throughout this ordeal, the care, encouragement and assistance of this campus has been unwavering in the effort to aid in the search. I want to thank the RIT community for their steadfast support in locating Matthew.”

Matthew, a co-captain of the RIT wrestling team, had gone missing on Nov. 20 from his home in Henrietta and had last been seen on surveillance video at Live’s gas station in the Town of Tyre in Seneca County.