Joanne and Paul Steindorf lived every parent’s worst nightmare over the weekend. On Friday, they went to pick up their son, Jon, for his college graduation at Penn State. But he wasn’t there.
They instead learned that Jon hadn’t been seen since 11:30 a.m. They called and left messages that went unanswered and by 7 p.m., called the State College Police Department to report their son missing, the Daily Collegian – Penn State’s student newspaper – reported.
But their anguish was brief – Steindorf was found Monday, perfectly safe and mentally sound, though the circumstances of his disappearance and recovery have not been released, the New York Daily News reported. The Collegian added that Jon was located near the college; a high school friend evidently spotted him and called police.
Jon’s disappearance was as mysterious as it was brief. The 23-year-old told his parents he finished his studies in the fall and planned to graduate this month, his father told the Centre Daily Times.
But when Jon went missing, his parents learned that was a lie – Steindorf hadn’t been enrolled in classes since the fall, and wasn’t slated to graduate at all.
Naturally, that their son evidently dropped out of college was the least of their worries.
“We love him and want him to come home to us. That’s all that matters to us is that he’s safe at home … For us, the greatest thing would be to see him walk down the street and come in the dooraid. That’s what everyone is interested in.”
— Rebecca Sommer (@beccasommer) May 10, 2015
The details surrounding Jon Steindorf’s disappearance are odd: A friend, Sarah Shulbank-Smith, told the Collegian that his wallet and cell phone were left behind in his apartment – leaving authorities no way to contact or identify him. And she scoped every place she thought her friend may go – but came up empty.
Another friend, Rebecca Sommer, posted on social media that Steindorf’s credit and debit cards, and his keys were left behind as well. His father confirmed that fact and believes Jon intended to leave those items behind: he didn’t want police to use his credit cards to track his movements.
At the same time, Mr. Steindorf said his son had no enemies, didn’t suspect foul play and would never leave town without letting his family know. His parents didn’t go so far as to form a search party to find their son. Turns out it wasn’t needed after all.
“He was found to be not a threat to himself or others, and he voluntarily agreed to be reunited with his family,” said Lt. Keith Robb, with the college’s police force. “I asked if he wanted a ride to his parents, and he got in the car and our case is closed. This is a happy story.”
[Photo Courtesy Twitter]