University of Rhode Island Student Disappears on Way Home for Summer Vacation

PHOTO: University of Rhode Island college student Matthew Royer went missing while driving back home to Skippack Township, Pa., May 16, 2013. PlayPennsylvania State Police
WATCH Rhode Island Student Disappears on Drive Home

A University of Rhode Island student disappeared on his way home for summer vacation. Authorities said he made it within about 30 miles of his Pennsylvania home before falling off the grid.

Matthew Royer, 21, was last seen on May 16 on the University of Rhode Island campus. The college junior had moved out of his apartment and returned the keys, according to ABC News' Philadelphia station WPVI.

Royer was on his way home to Skippack Township, Pa., where his family was waiting for him. He was supposed to report for work at a golf course the day after he returned home.

Royer sent a text message to his mother, Janet Royer, at around 6 p.m. on Thursday to say that he had overslept and was "about to leave."

From there, surveillance footage, debit card use and cell phone tower pings show Royer stopping at a gas station in Rhode Island at 6:30 p.m., and near Allentown, Pa., at 2 a.m. on Friday and stopping at a gas station about 35 miles from his home a short time later, according to his family and authorities.

"He bought water at the station, he opened it in the car and headed southbound on 100. He looked fine, not distraught," his mother told WPVI.

Her son did not show up for work the next morning, and his mother reported him missing that afternoon. His parents had helped him move most of his belongings a few weeks ago, but his car was filled with many items, including electronics and a laptop, according to WPVI.

"We've narrowed it down to 30-40 miles from our house, and we can't find him," Janet Royer said. "You couldn't ask for a better son. It's not like him. If he wasn't coming home, he would've told me he wasn't coming home, unless he couldn't."

Thomas Scully, Matthew Royer's grandfather, said his grandson was "a really intelligent fellow" and the youngest of his four grandchildren.

"Matthew is very bright," Scully told "I used to check his homework, because I was a good student. He'd correct [a mistake] before I could fix it."

Scully, 91, said his grandson was a talented soccer and tennis player who is "very familiar with the woods" and knows how to hunt and fish. He said Royer had good relationships with his parents and brother, and got along with everyone.

Royer is white, 6-feet-1, and weighs 160 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes.

Authorities are asking anyone with information to call Pennsylvania State Police Skippack at 610-584-1250 and give the reference number K03-1918501.