By Juliette Delp and Curt Dozier
RICHMOND, Va – Word that a British exchange student went missing spread fast around VCU and the Richmond community. Now, weeks later, there are still no answers.
Jonny Dorey, a 22-year old geography student, was last seen March 2nd.
With only a thousand VCU students being international, few can identify with the culture shock. But, Andrew Shipley, senior Health and Physical Education major, can relate to Dorey.
Shipley left his hometown in England to come to VCU in 2007.
“It was pretty hard since I…first time I had actually really been away from my family, like all my family was in England and there’s me, I’m by myself, taking everything in,” said Shipley.
Dorey’s disappearance has made international headlines but it’s VCU Police that are heading the investigation and search for the missing student, a situation that Police Chief John Venuti says is uncommon.
“Situations like that extend over an extended period of time are very, very rare,” said Venuti.
Venuti has kept in close contact with Dorey’s parents, who came to Richmond from their home in Gurnsey, an island in the English Channel, to help in the search for their son.
Dorey’s parents released a video plea for their son to return home safely and for anyone with information to contact VCU Police.
VCU and Dorey’s home Universiry, The University of the West of England, have both proposed a $5,000 reward for information leading to Dorey’s location.
Students and community members have been doing there part in the efforts with several search parties, fliers, and Facebook groups. And student’s like senior, Tristan Brown, noticed.
“I will say that I’m pretty proud of the VCU community and how they’ve truly rallied together. I mean they used every necessary resource,” said Brown.
Shipley says this should open every international student’s eyes. Being in an unfamiliar area is difficult.
“When you realize he’s British, it’s like, wow. It’s like, take it back, it’s like that could have been me ‘cause I’m British as well,” said Shipley.