Fort Valley State University student reported missing is safe and sound, authorities say

Keyon Harris
Keyon Harris

A Fort Valley State University student reported missing by his mom is safe and sound, authorities say.

Campus police and the GBI spoke with 18-year-old Keyon Harris on Tuesday, according to a FVSU Facebook post.

“We thank everyone for their concern and prayers for this student,” the post said.

The GBI spoke with Harris from Ohio by telephone and confirmed his identity, GBI special agent J.T. Ricketson said Wednesday.

“By his own words,” Harris reported that he was safe and sound, Ricketson said.

Cedric Mobley, special assistant to the president for strategic communication for the university, said Wednesday, “We were really happy to be able to talk to him and know he’s OK.”

Ricketson declined to say whether Harris gave any explanation for his sudden departure.

FVSU police determined last week that Harris, a freshman studying psychology, left the campus Oct. 2 with his belongings on his own accord.

A health and safety inquiry by campus police found that Harris “voluntarily and methodically packed his belongings and moved out of the residence hall,” according to a statement released by the university last Thursday.

Harris left “only items which were university property or which could be used to trace his whereabouts,” the release said.

His mother, Kishona Smith, reported him missing to campus police and offered a $1,000 reward for his safe return on Facebook on Oct. 3.

Harris had left his two credit cards, his iPhone and his student ID behind in his dorm room, Smith said.

Smith’s sister, Sharie Harris, had received texts demanding money for Harris’ safe return, Smith said.

Smith last talked to her son Oct. 1 through Facetime.

Smith said she thinks Harris left town with someone willingly and remained convinced Wednesday that her son is in a “bad situation” but doesn’t realize it.

Becky Purser: 478-256-9559, @BecPurser

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