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College student from VA missing in NYC

January 10, 2012 7:57:31 PM PST
There is a worrisome search for a missing college student from Virginia who last seen in Manhattan celebrating the holidays.

They held a candlelight vigil in Virginia Tuesday night for missing college student, Ian Burnet.

They are desperately clinging to hope that he will return home safely and soon.

"No matter what has happened, if he's out there alive we want to welcome him back," said Mark Burnet, Ian's father.

The 22-year-old engineering junior at Virginia Commonwealth University jumped on a bus the day after Christmas to spend New Year's in New York.

He was staying with friends on W. 139th Street by Riverside Drive.

The next day he texted his father.

On the 30th, he apparently told a friend he was having a horrible time and then the cold, haunting silence.

Police found his cell phone later that day.

"If you could just come home, your parents, your parents love you," said Althea Bernheim, a relative.

Althea Bernheim, a relative in Jersey City, says the family is tortured by the unknown.

They have contact with the police and set up a Facebook page, which is drawing in volunteers like Pam Andes who has helped print and post more than 1,000 fliers in the area.

"I've never met him, but I feel the love for him and I want to find him," said Pam Andes, a volunteer.

Burnet graduated valedictorian from high school and was on a full scholarship to study engineering.

It's been a week and a half now of sheer agony for his family and there's still no sighting of their bright and talkative son.

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