Smartphone app finds missing student in Georgia railroad ditch


  • TECH
  • Wednesday, 21 Oct 2015

Helping hands: His concerned friends' persistence and a smartphone app helped locate a missing student in Atlanta, who was found injured but alive in a railroad ditch.

ATLANTA: Atlanta police were looking into what happened to a Georgia Institute of Technology student missing for several days until he was found injured but alive in a railroad ditch by friends using a smartphone app, a police spokesman said. 

James “Jimmy” Hubert, a senior studying aerospace engineering, went missing after a sorority semi-formal function near campus in Atlanta, where he was last seen about 11pm on Oct 16 (11am Oct 17 Malaysian time), said Georgia Tech Police Chief Robert Connolly in a news release. 

Friends searched for him all weekend, even starting a Twitter account, #bringjimmyhome, and asking people to call his friends or police if they knew where he was, officials said. 

His friends eventually figured out that Hubert’s date had left her cellphone in his pocket, friend Emma Jeffrey told WSB-TV in Atlanta. Using a cellphone app to track the phone's location, they found him lying in a ditch near some railroad tracks early Monday morning (early Tuesday morning Malaysian time), about seven miles from campus and a few blocks from a commuter rail station, she told local TV stations. 

He was found bruised and disoriented with his clothing torn, she told the media, adding that he said he was beaten by a group of men. 

The Twitter account for Hubert shows him in an Atlanta hospital bed with an oxygen mask, making a “thumbs up” gesture. 

“Thanks go to the students for not giving up on their friend,” Connolly said in the release. 

Due to Hubert’s injuries, investigators have not yet been able to interview him, said Atlanta police public information officer Warren Pickard, “but it remains an active investigation.” — Reuters

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