WEB EXCLUSIVE: GW student reported missing

A GW student has been reported missing in Massachusetts after police found his car in another state Tuesday. The student, sophomore Jon Rizzo, was last seen at his job Friday, friends said.

Rizzo, a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, finished his shift at the Weathervane Restaurant in Plymouth, Mass., and drove to pick up a pizza. The family has been informed that the pizza was not picked up, friends of Rizzo said. The student has not been heard from since.

Police found Rizzo’s car, a 1994 Volkswagon Jetta, parked in a driveway outside a Concord, N.H., house. Inside the home, police found 58-year-old Robert Whitney dead.

Police conducted an autopsy on Whitney Tuesday, according to The Boston Channel. Results were not immediately available.

Police reported missing Whitney’s car, a gold 1994 Saturn with New Hampshire license plates 424-739, according to The Boston Channel, a local news station.

Rizzo’s family informed police of the 19-year-old’s disappearance Saturday, after his boss called when Rizzo failed to show up for work that day. The parents had been out of town until Saturday morning.

Sophomore Paul Kennedy, a friend of Rizzo, said a group of family members and friends gathered at Rizzo’s home in Kingston, Mass., Sunday to search for him.

“Everybody is holding together pretty admirably,” Kennedy said. “(The family) is holding up for the sake of everyone else, and the support has been amazing.”

Before police found Rizzo’s car, volunteers searched the area to find Rizzo. Since the discovery, Kennedy said the police have taken over.

“The volunteers are trying to get Jon’s face out there on posters to as many people on the route to where he worked,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy said the discovery of Rizzo’s car did not change the mood of the family.

“The overall mood really hasn’t changed – everyone is still very hopeful,” Kennedy said Tuesday morning. “He’s way too resourceful for us to think anything but the best.”
Kennedy said the family was told the pizza Rizzo ordered was not picked up.

Volunteers have gathered at Kingston Intermediate School to help with the search.

Kennedy said he is planning on living with Rizzo next fall, along with sophomore Jeremy Gilman, who came to Kingston from his Rhode Island home Monday.

“Mostly what Paul and I have done has been putting up fliers and postering,” Gilman said. “I’m planning on staying here until we bring him back safely.”

Rizzo’s family announced Tuesday they are offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to their son’s safe return. In addition, police have set up a tip line, 1-800-774-8858.

“If a student sees this and they’re around here, the place to come is the Kingston Intermediate School,” at 65 Second Brook St. in Kingston, Kennedy said. But for students not in the immediate area, Kennedy said the best thing to do is “to keep everybody up here in your prayers.”

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