Search Intensifies for Austin Bice, College Student Missing in Spain

Austin Bice, 22, missing in Madrid since Feb. 26.

ByABC News
March 7, 2011, 7:43 AM

March 7, 2011 — -- The family of missing college student Austin Bice is vowing to stay in Spain until the student, missing for more than a week in Madrid, is found.

"We just need to keep going and have all of those people look for him so we can get him home," Pam Bice, the mother of Austin Bice, said.

Larry Bice, the father of Austin Bice, has joined friends and Spanish investigators in the search effort, dotting Madrid with thousands of pictures of the college senior.

The family is even bringing in agents from Halo, a California company that specializes in search and rescue operations that often involve kidnappings. Authorities said, however, that there are no indications that Bice has been kidnapped.The Halo agents are expected to arrive in Spain today.

The 22-year-old student's cell phone signal is still active, but his voicemail is full and there's been no activity on his credit cards.

Austin Bice's closest friends say that they are sure there is something or someone preventing the college senior from contacting his family.

"This is completely out of character for him...and he always would let someone know where he's going, especially in a foreign country," Bice's friend Connor Fabiano said.

Bice, an international business major at San Diego State University, went to Madrid in mid-January to spend the semester studying there.

He was last seen outside of a fast food restaurant Feb. 26, a 20 minute walk from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid where he was studying.

Bice, a fluent Spanish speaker, posted on his blog that he planned to attend a concert the night he disappeared. Friends say that Bice left them outside of the nightclub that was hosting the concert to walk to his host family's home. Initial reports said that Bice was denied entrance into the club because he was too drunk. Friends and family have strongly denied that claim.

"I've known him for over a decade and I've never seen him drunk and I've never once seen him intoxicated to the point where he wasn't able to make a clear judgment or have a clear head," Fabiano said.

Alexis Gompf has known Bice since fourth grade and were high school sweethearts.

"He is not a partier and that's why everybody is so concerned," Gompf said.