The search is finally over and a family is rejoicing after an upstate New York student has been found safe after a nearly month-long search.

Matthew Grant, originally from Michigan but currently a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) was reported missing after leaving home without his phone on November 20th. Through an impressive collective communal effort, the keen eyes of one police officer, and Matthew himself, he is now reunited with his family. Here's what we know so far about what happened over the last 23 days.

Missing New York College Student Found Safe After 3 Weeks

When Matthew Grant went missing the week before Thanksgiving, there was immediate cause for concern. Although his roommates shared that Matthew had announced plans to visit a friend, he drove in a different direction instead, with little evidence suggesting where he was headed or what he was planning to do.

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Clues Left by Missing Student

While a thruway scan of Matthew's license plate and surveillance footage from a gas station security camera both placed him in an area north of Syracuse, NY, that was the last tangible piece of evidence police were able to use in their search. While investigators never ruled out any possibilities, including foul play, Matthew's family remained determined to find their son alive.

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After weeks of searching, a break in the case came in a very interesting way. On Tuesday, December 12th, Matthew's car was spotted parked in an area popular with hikers of the Appalachian Trail. After police confirmed the vehicle was his, they also discovered that Matthew had signed the visitor's log on the nearby trail as well. Then, Matthew himself heard he was missing. From Adirondack Mountain News:

Matthew entered the Palmerton, Pennsylvania police station around 4 p.m. today, December 13, seeking to make a phone call. An officer from the Palmerton department reported that Matthew indicated the possibility of a missing-person report for him and mentioned that people might be looking for him.

It was the exact best-case scenario that Matthew's father, Mark Grant, had hoped for. "We are hoping he is just off the grid doing a complete reset for himself and doesn’t have any idea what is happening", Mr. Grant shared on November 26th. Three weeks later, and his wishes have been answered.

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"We are forever grateful. For the privacy of Matthew and his family, we ask that you refrain from flooding us with questions and speculations at this time. We will not be responding", the Grant family shared through the Facebook page they created to help find their son. Matthew was grateful as well, sharing, "I want to say a huge thank you to everyone that helped in the search process. It's hard to understand just how much support you will have, regardless of how you are doing personally. I am doing much better now that I am reunited with my family."

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