Update: Stepped up search for Minnesota student missing at NDSU


The search for a Minnesota college student attending North Dakota State University is accelerating.

The Fargo Forum reports that Thomas Greg Bearson, 18, from Sartell, vanished early Saturday morning. At a Monday afternoon press conference, Lt. Joel Vettel of the Fargo Police Department said the search for the freshman will utilize police dogs, officers and firefighters to canvass the area.

He said a grid-style search will begin that will cover the area between Bearson's dorm and the neighborhood six blocks from campus where he was last seen from. It was searched previously, but Monday’s afternoon canvassing will be more detailed, Vettel said. Firefighters will also begin a cursory search of the Red River, which is more than a mile from the NDSU campus.

“That’s just based on the lack of information we have,” Vettel said of the boat search.

Vettel said there is no call for community volunteers to assist in the search at this time. Valley News Live reports that police say that foul play is not suspected. Police say they have alerted other law enforcement agencies along the I-94 corridor between Fargo and Sartell.

A post on the NDSU website about Bearson's disappearance said that his cell phone did not appear to be working.

The last tweet from Bearson's Twitter account was sent at 1:23 a.m. on Saturday and reads, "dude it's jake come pick us up." It also reads, "We are so lost and we are going to die. Just get somebody."

On Sunday night, the recipient of that message, Cody Mead, said that Bearson and his roommate Jake Wenzel had arrived at his home after issuing that tweet. In an interview with the Fargo Forum, Mead said they “hung out for a while” before Bearson left between 3:40 and 4 a.m.

A social media campaign has been launched using the hashtag #findtommyb.

The NDSU Police Department received a call on Saturday from Bearson's family after the student failed to catch a ride to Sartell as he had planned. His family called for a welfare check in his dorm room and when campus officials weren't able to find Bearson, police were alerted.

The St. Cloud Times noted that Bearson was covered by the newspaper as a standout high school athlete, including a story last February that highlighted his role as a senior guard on the Sartell boys basketball team. At that time, Bearson scored 16 points in one game, including his 1,000th career point.

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