Flash: Missing Rice University Student Arrested on UC Berkeley Campus

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday August 13, 2008 - 09:36:00 PM

UC police located missing Rice University student Matthew Wilson in Dwinelle Hall on the UC Berkeley campus tonight (Wednesday), and are investigating him for theft of university property, according to the Berkeley Police Department and UC Berkeley police. 

Wilson -- a computer science junior at Rice -- was last seen by his roommate inside his off campus apartment building in Houston on December 14.  

His disappearance caught the attention of national media and prompted several non-profit groups to search for him. 

Wilson’s 2004 silver Dodge Neon was found parked on the street in a West Berkeley neighborhood in June.  

Police discovered Wilson’s clothes, some food and identity-change literature with his fingerprints on them in the car.  

Authorities did not rule out the possibility that Wilson, 21, might have left home on his own accord. 

Wilson’s mother flew to the Bay Area recently to conduct a search for him in collaboration with a Pleasanton-based search and recovery group. 

Although sightings of Wilson were reported in People’s Park and a few other places in Berkeley, police were not able to locate him. 

Officer Mitch Celaya, spokesperson for the UC Police Department, told the Planet that university police officers had come across Wilson after business hours in a classroom at Dwinelle. 

"We identified him as the missing Texas student and contacted Berkeley police to let them know we had located him," Celaya said 

“We allowed them to interrogate him. They want to hold him for psychological evaluation. As soon as the evaluation is complete we will bring him back and continue our investigation.” 

Wilson is currently being held at the Berkeley Police Department. 

Celaya said Wilson had been found just before 7 p.m. in the classroom with his computer hooked to a video utility box. 

“We have a criminal case against him for possession of stolen university utilities,’ he said. 

According to a press release from the Berkeley Police Department, Wilson was dressed in a black t-shirt, black jeans and black athletic shoes.  

He had short hair and no beard and was wearing wire framed glasses. 

Rice University and Wilson’s family have been notified, police said. 

Berkeley police said a detective was interviewing Wilson to find out what he has been doing for the past 8 months.