Matthew Baldwin ’10 Found Safe

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Matthew Baldwin, from his Facebook profile

Missing Swarthmore student Matthew Baldwin ’10 was found safe and sound early Sunday afternoon, camping in a state park. Baldwin was located, around 35 miles away from Swarthmore, by a team of search and rescue dogs in West Reading, Pennsylvania. The team discovered Baldwin this Sunday at noon, nearly a week after he had been reported missing by concerned friends and family.

Swarthmore Dean Martin Warner says the search team was a collaboration between “members of the College Public Safety, Borough Police, and officers from neighboring jurisdictions.” Baldwin’s relatives also brought the Virginia Canine Response Team, a non-profit organization dedicated to locating missing persons, to assist in the search process. According to Warner, “the Canine Response Team generously volunteered their services and was instrumental [in finding Baldwin]. It was a real team effort.”

Alisa Giardinelli, of the Swarthmore Communications Office, further confirmed via email that “Baldwin was discovered unhurt and well-provisioned.” Giardinelli is unsure of the details of the investigation but adds that both KYW Radio and a poster to the Facebook group “Have you seen Matthew Baldwin?” reported finding Baldwin in French Creek State Park.

Swarthmore Borough Police Chief Brian Craig cited extensive cooperation with the College and local authorities as well as tips from callers as vital to successfully locating Baldwin. Original speculation around missing camping equipment from Baldwin’s room led College staff and police to check the surrounding Crum Woods as well as nearby camping grounds.

Throughout the week, police followed a series of leads regarding sightings of Baldwin. Craig says that, “all tips were from non-student callers who had seen [Baldwin’s] picture on the local news or in the newspapers. The sightings, incidentally, were all along the route Matthew probably took to get to the state park.” Once found, close family and the College were immediately notified.

Chief Officer Craig repeatedly emphasized that “Baldwin has done nothing illegal. He is 21 and can make his own decisions.” With regards as to why Baldwin may have taken this hiatus from Swarthmore, Craig says “that’s a question only Matthew can answer.”


  1. I hope the college and the surrounding community can give Matthew the peace and quiet he probably wanted and the time to reconcile with his family, alone and away from prying eyes.

  2. Yeah, I can imagine some reconciling will need to be done, and I agree it would probably be best to keep the press away. But the situation was ridiculous. You don't just up and leave to go camping in seclusion, alone and without telling anyone. What did he think was going to happen? What the hell was he thinking? Let the police and Canine Response Teams focus on real work and not waste their time and resources searching for someone who just took a little "vacation."

  3. while the action may seem to us to be irresponsible (as it was), I think that kindness and welcoming — not scathing criticism — is the way to treat this one. He needed to get away and he did. Given his likely state at the time of his departure, I'm sure police involvement did not occur to him.

    And who is to say that this wasn't "real work"? Do we really think that Swarthmore police are out busting drug lords or something? This was as legitimate endeavor as handing out parking/speeding tickets, although caused by a lack of communication.

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