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Search Continues For Baltimore Journalist Missing In Libya

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Matthew Vandyke
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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.

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