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November 19, 2015

Washington College community hopes Montco man will be found safe

Maryland school cancels classes until Nov. 30 as search continues for potentially armed, missing Cheltenham resident

Colleges Missing People
11162015_jacob_marberger_WC Source/Washington College

Jacob Marberger, of Cheltenham, Montgomery County, is a sophomore at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.

The Washington College community posted pleas for missing student Jacob Marberger, of Cheltenham, to reach out to his family on Thursday and announced that a GoFundMe page had been started to help Marberger after he is found.

The outpouring of support comes a day after college officials decided to cancel classes until after Thanksgiving break.

Marberger, 19, has been missing since Monday, sometime after returning to his family's Montgomery County home. Afterward, the young man's parents contacted Washington College officials to report their son had taken a rifle case from their home.

Washington College, located in Chestertown, Maryland, ordered students and faculty to shelter in place after receiving the report. Classes have been canceled each day since, and Maryland police and the FBI have joined the search for Marberger.

A note to Marberger posted with the GoFundMe campaign, titled "WC Alumni support Jacob Marberger," offered the missing student support:

"We know these past few days must have been extremely stressful for you. We’re asking you to contact your parents and let them know that you’re safe. Your family misses you. Your friends at Washington College and the greater Washington College community are worried about you and want to see you home safe and sound. We want you to know that you are not alone. 
Please get in touch with your family."

As of 3:30 p.m., the campaign had raised $1,645 of its $2,500 goal. Organizers said the money will go toward "doing what we can to bring Jacob home peacefully. ... The funds will be used to assist Jacob with the support he needs upon his peaceful return."

An arrest warrant for weapons offenses has been issued for Marberger, a sophomore who attended Cheltenham High School, by the Kent County, Maryland, state's attorney office.

It stems from an alleged incident in late October when authorities say Marberger brandished a handgun while drunk at the fraternity house of Phi Delta Theta, where he is a member. A Washington College public safety official told the Washington Post the weapon was an "antique" revolver, which investigators allegedly located in Marberger's off-campus apartment later.

The college suspended Marberger for a week and a half after the incident.

President Sheila C. Bair posted a message on Washington College's website on Wednesday to announce classes at the school would not resume until Nov. 30.

Thursday afternoon, Bair tweeted a link to the GoFundMe page and a message hoping for Marberger's safe return home.

Washington College Student Government President Taylor J. Frey tweeted "We are family."

Marberger had been speaker of the senate in the Student Government Association at the school, according to his Facebook page. Multiple reports stated he resigned from the position after his suspension last month.

Washington College officials have said there have not been any direct threats against the campus or school community since Marberger's disappearance.

About 1,450 undergraduate students from 35 states and 40 nations are part of the Washington College campus, located on a historic river town surrounded by farmland, the school's website says.

Chestertown is about 80 miles southeast of Philadelphia.

Anyone with information about him is asked to contact Chestertown police at 410- 778-1800 or the college's Public Safety office at 410-778-7810.