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Current Page: U.S. | Sunday, May 29, 2011
Matt Hill Found Safe; Left on Trip for 'Personal Reasons'

Matt Hill Found Safe; Left on Trip for 'Personal Reasons'

Christian youth minister Matt Hill, last seen Tuesday, has been found alive in North Carolina but questions remain as to why the 26-year-old did not inform anyone of his trip or contact them for days.

Hill was reported missing Tuesday after he was last seen dropping off a George Washington University student in Chinatown in Washington, D.C.

Hundreds of friends and volunteers from Capitol Hill Baptist Church, which houses the ministry that employed Hill, joined with his family to search for Hill over the last several days. They even took to social media to aid their search, launching Facebook and Twitter pages in hopes of gathering tips on his whereabouts.

Hill was found in Asheville near his home by local police, acting on a call from D.C. Metro police. The Matthews, N.C.-native moved to the nation's capital a little over a year ago to do missions work for Campus Outreach Washington D.C.

Lieutenant Ralph Neal confirmed Sunday that Matthew Hill was found safe and had left for "personal reasons."

"He apparently didn't let anyone know where he was at," Neal told The Charlotte Observer. "We asked the police in Asheville to make contact with him there.

"He just left on his own – for personal reasons. I guess he just wanted to get away."

Family and friends of Hill say his sudden disappearance is out of character.

While his loved ones admit that they still have questions about his leaving, they are just taking it one day at a time and are thankful that he has been found alive and well.

Red Sox righty Daniel Bard, a longtime friend of Hill, was relieved when he discovered Hill was found.

"He's alive and unharmed, and he did do this under his own will – which if you heard what I said yesterday is probably the biggest shock to everyone that knows him," Bard told MLB.com, the official site of the Major League Baseball.

"We're just focusing on the fact that he's OK, that he's alive, and hopefully some questions will be answered soon for those that care about him."

Capitol Hill Baptist Church member Noah Braymen, who led one of the search teams for Hill, summed up the reaction of church members after hearing the news.

"We're just thankful that God has sustained him," Braymen told WUSA 9 Sunday. "We don't know the circumstances of his disappearance – but we don't really care, we can work that out later. We are just praising God and giving thanks that he has been found."

The church also released a statement obtained by WUSA 9: "We can confirm that Matthew Hill has been found. Matt is alive and unharmed. It is also now clear he left under his own will.

"Please do not contact Matt's family today – all enquiries should be directed through the details below.

"Those involved in the search thank the Metropolitan Police Department for their help and all the resources they were able to contribute to finding Matt.

"We appreciate the media's support over the last few days and we now ask for their understanding respect, particularly today."

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