Matthew VanDyke missing in Libya

The violence in Libya has become personal for a family with ties to Maryland and the District. A freelance journalist with ties to the area is missing.


Long story short

Georgetown University grad missing in Libya


Matthew VanDyke went to Libya in February to stay with friends. He wanted to witness the uprising against leader Moammar Gadhafi and write a book about it.

His family last heard from VanDyke on March 12. "When he answered the phone, there was a lot of noise," his mother Sharon VanDyke said. "He was in a truck and he said 'Mom, I can't talk now, it's noisy. I can't talk now. Can you call me tomorrow?'"

Now his mother and girlfriend nervously wait for any news on his whereabouts.

He told his girlfriend about plans to take a day trip from Benghazi to Brega -- the same day that government forces stormed a rebel strongpoint in the region.

"They didn't go there to see a fight and Gadhafi's forces rolled in unexpectedly," said Lauren Fischer, his girlfriend. She said that VanDyke had press credentials with him.

He has a degree from Georgetown University in foreign service and security, speaks Arabic and has reported in war zones before. But this time, his loved ones believe he may have been taken prisoner.

 "I want to know where he is and that he's okay," said Fischer.

They're doing all they can to find him, with hopes that he will be freed. The State Department says it's aware of VanDyke's case, according to the Associated Press.

"I can't fall apart because I can't spend that kind of energy in self-pity right now," Van Dyke's mother Sharon said. "I've got to spend the energy getting his picture out there so someone may see him or can help us."

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