Update (Dec. 25, 3:57 p.m.): According to a post on the Facebook page for Missing Piece Network, an advocacy group for missing persons, Marcel Hickman has been found safe.
The father of a University of Missouri-Kansas City student last seen Dec. 8 hopes an onslaught of public attention will help bring missing 20-year-old Marcel Hickman home.
Anthony Hickman of San Antonio, recently spent five days in Kansas City, posting fliers and producing videos for social media to bring attention to the disappearance.
The elder Hickman doesn’t suspect foul play, but he said it was out of character for his son not to contact family members for nearly two weeks. Marcel, the oldest of seven children, left behind all of his belongings, including a computer and a mobile phone he’s used for years.
“That phone was glued to him like it was a part of his body,” Hickman said. “He loved that particular phone as well as that computer.”
According to Hickman, Marcel’s roommate said Marcel purchased a prepaid phone in the days before he disappeared. That disclosure only heightened Hickman’s concern.
“He’a a techie,” Hickman said. “Wherever he is, I can’t imagine him not leaving a digital thumbprint somewhere.”
Hickman said he last talked to Marcel on Dec. 2, adding it was not out of the ordinary for them to go a few days or even a week without talking. That all changed when campus police called the family Dec. 11 to inform them that Marcel was missing.
Hickman said he was shocked.
“I know my son, and this is not like him,” he said.
Hickman said he traveled to Kansas City two days later and filed a missing person report.
He also spent five days scouring neighborhoods and using social media to provide information to the public about Marcel, a sophomore at UMKC. He enlisted the help of several organizations, such as the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime and Aim for Peace.
Marcel had plans to return home for Christmas break, Hickman said, but instead missed final exams and hasn’t been heard from in more than two weeks.
“If I can hear his voice and know that he is breathing, that would be some kind of relief,” Hickman said. “That would give me something further to go on in locating him.”
Marcel is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. He has short black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information should call the UMKC Police Department at 816-235-1515.