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Search continues for alumnus, considered critical missing person

by Caitlin O'Donnell,
  • Matt Hill. Photo courtesy of "Find Matt Hill" Facebook page.

  • A flier has been created to assist in the search. Photo courtesy of "Find Matt Hill" Facebook page.

The search is ongoing for Matt Hill, a 2008 graduate of Elon University and former member of the Elon Phoenix baseball team, who was last seen Tuesday, May 24 in Washington, D.C.

Hill is considered a critical missing person, according to Officer Tisha Gant, with the Metropolitan Police Department.

Hill, who majored in Communications as an Elon student, currently serves as the Campus Director for George Washington University through a Campus Outreach program at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, according to Holger Hill, his father. 

On the morning of May 24, Matt Hill picked up GWU freshman Matthew DeGioia around 7 a.m. The two provided transportation for church member Shirley Luther who needed a transfusion at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland. After breakfast at IHOP, the pair left the area around 9:30 a.m. and arrived back in D.C. about an hour later, according to DeGioia, who was dropped off at the local Verizon Center around that time. 

Matt HIll told DeGioia he needed to be at Capitol Hill Baptist by 11:30 a.m., but he never arrived.

"He seemed completely fine, wasn't troubled at all," DeGioia said. "He did nothing to suggest he was going anywhere out of town. He had no drug problems, no problems with his family, no girlfriend. It's completely out of character for him to just leave without telling anybody." 

Holger Hill arrived in D.C. yesterday to assist the Metropolitan Police Department in their search.

"We are pursuing every lead and every piece of information we can accumulate," he said.

At this point, Holger Hill said the police have obtained banking transactions from his debit cards, records of cell phone usage and surveillance tapes. They have also been scanning neighborhoods, conducting grid searches for the vehicle and checking hospitals. Another key piece of the search has been the involvement of the media. 

"We're trying to get them included as much as possible to get exposure and increase the priority level," Holger Hill said. 

He has also been told off the record that the FBI is planning to become involved, though the police have so far refused to confirm this to him. 

Capitol Hill Baptist Church has served as a makeshift command post for the search. Members of the church and community have been searching the streets and made fliers to distribute with pictures and contact information.

Those involved have also been collecting tips and relevant information, some of which precede information the police receives, Holger Hill said. 

"It's been nothing short of incredible," Holger HIll said. "The people here, they obviously love my son very much. There's been an overwhelming display of concern."

DeGioia characterized Matt Hill as a "father figure" to members of the church ministry. 

"He's perhaps the best friend you could ever have," he said. "The thought of anyone doing anything against such a guy who loves life, loves people and loves God with all of his heart is just startling." 

A Facebook page was created to assist in the search and keep followers updated with the most recent information. According to the page, Hill was last seen driving a 1996 Black Honda Civic LX. 

"He's a pretty wonderful young man, the kind of guy any mother dreams of her daughter bringing home," he said. "He's just very outgoing, always happy, always positive, compassionate, considerate, kind, grounded. He's just a great guy." 

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Metropolitan Police Department at 202-715-7300 or Detective McClam at 202-730-1903.

  Stay with The Pendulum as more information becomes available.