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Car of missing student Matthew Wilson found in California

By Lily Chun     5/15/08 7:00pm

Updated: Monday, June 16, 2008 12:23 p.m. CDT

JUNE  14 -- Police found the car of missing Hanszen College junior Matthew Wilson on Tuesday along a residential block in west Berkeley, Calif. The 2004 silver Dodge Neon with a license plate from Oklahoma was towed as an abandoned vehicle, Rice Police Chief Bill Taylor said.

Wilson's case attracted national attention when Wilson, a computer science major, disappeared Dec. 15 from his off-campus apartment last year, withdrawing $500 from his bank account before he left.

"Berkeley police informed the Rice University Police Department there were no obvious signs of foul play inside the car," the university said in a statement today.

Andrew Frankel, public information officer for the Berkeley Police Department, said BPD first got wind of the abandoned car when someone called in around mid-May.

"We feel that the car's been there for at least a month, maybe a little longer," Frankel said.

Taylor said a notice was posted on the car in May that it would be towed if not moved. When the car was impounded on Tuesday, it was identified as Wilson's car. Taylor said although there was a layer of dust on the car, Wilson's books, backpack and clothes -- things that were missing from his apartment -- were found in the car.

Taylor said the Berkeley Police Department is currently searching for Wilson in the Berkeley area and is looking for witnesses who might have seen him.

Frankel said the Berkeley Police Department sent out a press release on Saturday in hopes that it will generate some leads.

Frankel said he could not answer any questions regarding whether or not someone lived in the house that Wilson's car was parked in front of.

The car was found along 1200 Allston Way, which is about six miles west of the University of California at Berkeley. But as for any link between Wilson and the university, Frankel said it could only be speculation at this point.

The Rice Thresher will continue update this article as more information becomes known.

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