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.
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.”