Still No Sign of Rice University Ace

First he missed final exams, then Christmas.

Now, family and friends of Matthew Wilson fear that something terribly wrong may have happened to the 20-year-old Rice University student.

Nearly two weeks have gone by since the computer science major was last seen at his off-campus apartment near the Rice campus in Houston.

"He is known for always attending classes and always getting good grades," Elliot Harwell, Wilson's roommate, told "Good Morning America" today. Harwell notified authorities after the straight-A student failed to return home for three days during the run-up to finals.

Also missing are Wilson's silver Neon and his backpack. Wilson's cell phone was found in his room.


"He takes school seriously," Harwell said, "but he didn't turn in his finals, so it is clear that he is behaving out of character. It's just every day that he is gone, it just seems like something bad might have happened."

Harwell first noticed that Wilson was missing Dec. 16, according to Rice campus police. Harwell says he saw Wilson the day before around noon when Wilson was working on one of his finals inside his room. Harwell, also busy with his own work, reportedly left the apartment and did not return to the apartment until Dec. 16. Dec. 18, he filed a report with the Rice police.

Police later learned that Wilson had failed to drive a friend to the airport the night of Dec. 15 as promised.

Bill Taylor, chief of the Rice University Police Department, said that authorities initially thought that the shaggy-haired, bearded college junior had holed up somewhere to prepare for his finals.

"He does on occasion go and do his study and what have you, but it's usually a day or so," Taylor said.

The chief said that, according to Wilson's acquaintances, he doesn't participate in high-risk behavior often associated with the college lifestyle. "He doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke," Taylor said. "He drives a conservative vehicle … and usually walks to and from campus."

While there have been no immediate signs of foul play, one clue Taylor said police are looking into is a $400 ATM withdrawal Wilson made in the days before he disappeared.

It's the first missing person's case involving a Rice University student in more than a decade.

Wilson was expected home in Haworth, Okla., for the Christmas holiday, but never showed up. His unopened gifts sit in his bedroom.

"That boy is my heart and soul," Cathy Wilson, the student's mother, said about her high school valedictorian son. "He's worked too hard for this to happen to him."

Wilson has red hair and green eyes and wears glasses. He is described by police as 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighing 135 pounds.