Where is Lance Buckley? Howard student vanishes after text to wife

The search continues for a 33-year-old Howard University student from Virginia who has been missing since Tuesday. 

The Stafford County Sheriff's Office said the phone that belongs to Lance Buckley was briefly electronically located Wednesday afternoon in the area of Blockhouse Point Conservation Park in Montgomery County. Police searched the area, but Buckley was not located.

Buckley was last seen by family members Tuesday around 7:10 a.m. when he was dropped off at the Staffordboro Commuter Lot where he usually "slugs" to Howard University. 

Buckley, a husband and father of two, has one child born 13 days ago. He is enrolled in a PhD program in microbiology at the school and was on his way to pick up his graduation packet when he was last seen.

On Thursday, Buckley's parents came to Howard University searching for answers and putting up flyers.

"We are just absolutely devastated," said Buckley's mother, Loretta. "There are no words to describe the feeling that this is. The helplessness -- the fact that we're trying so hard to reach out to people to get answers."

She said after she dropped him off Tuesday morning, Buckley got money from the ATM. On Friday, authorities released a photo of Buckley using the ATM around 8:40 a.m. the day he disappeared.

Buckley's wife received a text from her husband at about 10:16 a.m. on Tuesday from the area of Howard University. The text was personal in nature, so authorities believe Buckley sent it himself.

Buckley's mother said he picked up his graduation packet, but did not show up for a scheduled meeting at noon Tuesday.

"His family is everything to him," said his mother. "We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so we don't drink. So we knew he wasn't out with anybody. He didn't have any friends that he would hang out with or do anything here at Howard. He would just come up, go to school, teach the classes that he was a [teaching assistant] for and would come straight home."

Buckley is described as 5'11" and 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a dark-colored t-shirt and gray Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers.

Authorities said Buckley may be in possession of a gun, but he is not believed to be a danger to anyone.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Stafford County Sheriff's Office at 540-658-4400 or call Crime Solvers at 540-659-2020. You can remain anonymous.

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