Search Continues For Baltimore Journalist Missing In Libya

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Fighting for her son.  Another night and still no word from a Baltimore man missing amid the violence in Libya.

Kelly McPherson sat down with his mother, who’s vowing she will find her son.

Four more journalists held captive under Gaddafi’s government in Libya have been released. In Baltimore, a mother and girlfriend of another missing writer react to the news.

“I’m thrilled for them, but there’s a frustration I feel,” said Lauren Fischer, girlfriend.

The dining room table is now the information center for finding Matthew VanDyke.  Phone calls, emails, pleas to national media—nothing has worked to find the 31-year-old journalist.

He disappeared in March while traveling through Libya to document the historical uprising for a book.

He last called the United States on March 12. Days later, a call to his overseas phone triggered concern.

“He told me I had dialed the wrong number,” said Sharon VanDyke, mother. “And I said ‘I’m looking for my son.  He’s an American and he’s missing in Libya.’  And the last thing he said to me was, ‘I hope you find your son.’  And the phone went dead.”

“We believe that Matthew was captured in Brega by Gaddafi forces,” Sharon VanDyke continued. “Someone has his cell phone, and he’s in prison somewhere.”

They have zero confirmation that he’s been rounded up with rebels and thrown in jail.

The United States has no legal presence in Libya. So Sharon VanDyke, a retired teacher, flew to Turkey recently to ask that country’s consulate for help.  She knocked on other foreign doors, too.

“I went to get his name, his pictures and for people to see that he’s a real person with a mother who’s looking for him,” she said.

Without a confirmation that he’s detained, no government can rescue him.

His loved ones are positive, though, that he’s alive.

“It’s not like that thought hasn’t crossed my mind,” Fischer said. “But it’s not something that I dwell on.”

“Do you want to ask, ‘Do we think he’s dead?’ No, we don’t,” said Sharon VanDyke.

Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger will join the family on Monday in a new push to help track down Matthew VanDyke.

  • Doug

    That was a while back.
    Doesn’t sounds promising .
    The fact that Matthew looks like an all around American,
    did not help him.
    He stuck out like a sore thumb.
    An easy spot for extremists .
    Good luck, a miracle could happen.

  • Bill Jones

    I’ve worked for U.S. ENB before as a collector overseas. I am a journalist with several publictions, which is soemtimes useful while gathering info.
    A few facts here:
    1. He’s listed as a “Journalist”, but, strangely enough, when I tried to find his articles, nothing came up: As a journalist, your work appears on-line; at least mine do.
    2. He’s listed as ’embedded” w/US forces in IRQ and AFG, yet no refer to what paper he’s working for- very unusual.
    3. He’s pictured in a new photo in a U.S. uniform/SEQ vest
    4. His degree is in “Security Studies”. Read the Georgetown univ. description of this degree: You specialize in one of six areas- listed as number one is “Intelligence”!
    5. He speaks Arabic.
    6. He’s been traveling the mid east for many months with “no visible means of support.”
    7. The article says he enjoyed his time in Libya. I tried to get in there in 2008 and Chris S., the U.S. embassy CDA, said it was “impossible” for a U.S. citizen to visit Libya.

    I admit I only really had one experience gathering info for EMB in 2006, so I am not an expert, but all indications are this young man was acting in the most dangerous position of all in Intelligence Gathering: The Non-Supported Collector.

    If I figured this out in about 10 minutes, you cna be assured that Libyan Intelligence agents did the same. I got to play “The Game” once: It is the most exciting game of all, but it is also very dangerous.
    I bet he was contacted by EMB overseas, was bought dinner, given a little money and felt very flattered- just like I was.
    Fun game, but very dangerous.
    I sincerely hope he gets out of the situation alive.

    My honest opinion on how to get him out alive?
    Fly to Egypt, get into Libya and figure out who you have to pay money to facilitate the release. It will not be easy..
    I have friends in Siwa, Egypt, which is just across the border.
    I figure I might be able to get him out.

    If you are interested, contact me at the e-mail address given here.

  • Bill Jones

    Reply to above at:

  • Liza

    I agree with the above post. If this person is a journalist, where is his work?
    I’ve never read anything by him in 16 years of reading the Sun. It seems
    very suspect why he would go into an area like that on his own. Something is fishy here. I hope he gets home safe. It’s very sad for his family.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Track Weather On The Go With Our App!

Listen Live