U.S. News


Virginia Tech student still missing after vanishing on way to an exam

A 20-year-old was "acting outside of his normal behavior" before he disappeared on his way to take an exam.
A photo of Jonathan "Johnny" Roop is shown.
Posted at 8:30 PM, Feb 20, 2024

A 20-year-old Virginia Tech student has been missing for four days, and authorities say he was behaving strangely before he disappeared.

The university said Jonathan "Johnny" Roop, a senior business student, was last seen Friday at his apartment complex in the Merrimac area of Montgomery County, Virginia, about 4.5 miles from campus.

At 4:26 p.m., his phone pinged near a shopping mall about two miles south of his apartment as he was traveling to his parent's house in Abingdon, which is about 100 miles west of the mall. He was expected to take an online exam at the family's home by 5 p.m., but the university said he never showed up.

In an update Tuesday, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office said preliminary information leads them to believe the student left the county on his own that afternoon and most likely traveled toward southwest Virginia — where Abingdon is — or toward Tennessee. 

Montgomery County Sheriff's Office

Surveillance footage captured him still in Montgomery County until around 3:30 pm Friday, driving a black 2018 Toyota Camry with a Virginia Tech flag sticker on the back window and the license plate number TXW6643.

However, the sheriff's office said interviews with friends and family, along with local video surveillance, point to Roop's behavior being inconsistent "with his normal patterns of behavior" that Friday.

"We have received no information leading us to believe that he is in immediate danger; however due to the fact that Mr. Roop appears to be acting outside of his normal behavior we would like to make contact with him to confirm that he is indeed OK" the sheriff's office said Tuesday.

Montgomery County Sheriff's Office

One of the student's childhood friends, Isaac Childress, echoed that Roop wouldn't typically disappear without notifying someone.

"John is not the kind of guy that just goes missing," Childress told 10 News. "You have some buddies you don't hear from in a couple days, and it's just the norm. They do their own thing. But Johnny, he is a family and friend-oriented man."

Investigators said they were "continuing to pursue every lead" to try to find Roop. Anyone with information regarding him or his vehicle is asked to contact the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office at 540-382-4343.