Washington College remains closed through Thanksgiving; student from Montco, Pa., still missing

Washington College tells students and staff to leave campus

Washington College will remain closed through the Thanksgiving holiday as the search continues for a missing student from Montgomery County, Pa., who may be armed.

College President Sheila Bair announced Wednesday afternoon that the campus would reopen to students Nov. 29 with classes resuming the next day.


In a statement posted on the college website, Bair did not offer a detailed explanation for the continued closure, only saying that the decision was made "based on our continuing consultations with law enforcement."

The college's Thanksgiving break had been scheduled to begin Nov. 25.

Jacob Marberger, 19, hasn't been seen or heard from since early Monday morning, after he went to his parents' home in the Philadelphia suburbs and took a gun case that may have had a rifle in it, according to police and college officials. His last known location — based on a cell phone signal — was near a Cabela's outdoors store in Hamburg, Pa. Monday morning.

A warrant has been issued for Marberger's arrest charging him in connection with an incident on campus on Oct. 9 when he showed a gun to classmates at the Eastern Shore school. Marberger is charged with having a dangerous weapon on school property, possession of a firearm by a minor, handgun possession and possession of a prohibited weapon, according to Chestertown Police Chief Adrian Baker.

Police and college officials said Tuesday that Marberger had some tensions with other students. He had been dismissed from his fraternity and he resigned from a leadership post with the student government association on Sunday.

College officials shut down the campus on Monday and kept students in their dorm rooms or a dining hall all day. The college began to open normally on Tuesday, but later was closed again and students were sent home. About 50 students who couldn't get home, including international students, are being housed off-campus.

College officials have said they will decide on the status of campus operations on a day-to-day basis.

The small college's campus was quiet Wednesday, with just a couple construction and landscaping crews working on projects under gray skies. Police are no longer guarding entrances as they had been Monday and Tuesday.

Marberger is described by police as a white male with brown hair, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 135 pounds. He may be driving a green 1997 Range Rover with Pennsylvania license plates JWY-5876. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call police.