Church helps in search for missing college student

by: Diana Davis Updated:

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BLECKLEY COUNTY - Members of a metro Atlanta church banded together Tuesday to help police in the search for a 19-year-old college student.
         

Jmaal Keyes has been missing nearly two weeks. He is from Austell, but disappeared after walking out of his dorm at Middle Georgia State College southeast of Macon.
         
Channel 2's Diana Davis was with searchers all day on the campus. They went door-to-door passing out flyers, scouring the campus for clues that could help find Keyes. His sister said the family is struggling and worried sick.
         
“I'm trying to stay positive and keep my faith in God,” said Jalissa Keyes.

Keyes’ sister was on campus with nearly 30 members of the family’s Austell church, Destiny World Church.
         
Keyes’ mother is helping in the search but was too upset to talk to Davis. She was the last family member to talk to her son April 24. That was just days after his sister drove him back to the Cochran campus from Atlanta.
         
The family called police a few days later when his sister said Keyes stopped answering his cellphone.

“It’s completely out of character, which is why we’re all confused as to what's going on. We didn’t see this coming at all,” she said.

Campus police, along with city and county authorities, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia State Patrol are investigating.

Keyes has no history of drug, alcohol or behavioral problems. Nothing in his dorm room was missing, according to campus police Chief Sean Douglas.

“No clothes packed, everything is still in the room, and there’s been no contact with the family or friends since the disappearance, so that’s very odd for this individual,” said Douglas.
           
Keyes’ cellphone was deactivated sometime on April 25. Douglas said the last trace of activity from him was in Cochran near campus.
 
“So we have pulled the phone records and the tower information, but unfortunately, (it) has not proved any help in this investigation,” Douglas said.

Students at Middle Georgia State are busy with finals as school year wraps up. Davis asked Keyes’ sister if her brother may have been stressed out and left on his own. Jalissa Keyes said if that is the case, she wants him to let them know that he’s safe.
         
“I just want to say that we love him and don’t worry about the embarrassment. Your family is what matters and we’re out here looking for you,” she said.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.