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Washington College Closes As Search For Possibly Armed Student Continues

The college is slated to reopen Nov. 30 as authorities continue to search for a "despondent" sophomore who was reported missing with gun.

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Washington College in Maryland will remain closed until Nov. 30 as authorities continue their search for a missing student who was reported as being armed and "despondent," administrators announced Wednesday.

The FBI is searching for Jacob Marberger after his parents called college officials early Monday to report that they were unable to contact their 19-year-old son after he left their Pennsylvania home with a gun.

The school was on alert following anonymous posts on social media Sunday and into Monday following the report. The posts were originally reported by the Washington College Elm to have appeared on the app Yik Yak, though a spokesperson for the company later refuted these claims to BuzzFeed News.

On Tuesday, the college closed and evacuated the campus in "an abundance of caution," and asked students and staff to temporarily shelter in place.

By Wednesday, despite receiving "no direct threats," the college announced that all classes would be canceled until after Thanksgiving vacation, with the school reopened on Nov. 29.

Campus closed through Thanksgiving Break. Please watch email for updates from professors.

Marberger was the speaker of the student senate on campus and a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. In October, he was suspended for a week and a half after allegedly brandishing an antique handgun while drunk at his fraternity house, the Washington Post reported.

As a result, Marberger was investigated by campus police, kicked out of his fraternity, resigned his office in student government, and faced possible expulsion. His parents described their son as "despondent" in the wake of his suspension.

State attorney for Kent County, Harris Murphey, told the Washington Post that Marberger is wanted on an arrest warrant related to four charges: Dangerous weapon on school property, handgun on a person, possession of a firearm by a minor, illegal possession of ammunition.

At the news conference, Washington College President Sheila Bair said the school would remain closed until Marberger's whereabouts and intentions become known.

Ema O'Connor is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Ema O'Connor at

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