crimesider

Howard U. student missing after "slugging" to school

Lance Buckley

CBS affiliate WUSA

STAFFORD, Va. -- A Howard University doctoral student is missing after hitching a ride to the Washington, D.C. school from a commuter lot in Stafford, Va., according to a Stafford County Sheriff's office statement.

Lance Buckley, 33, was last seen around 8 a.m. Tuesday when he was dropped off at the Staffordboro commuter lot, about 40 miles south of the school. According to police, Buckley usually commutes by "slugging," an informal carpooling practice popular in the congested Washington, D.C. region in which strangers share rides to afford an otherwise single-occupied vehicle the use of high occupancy travel lanes.

Buckley was on his way to pick up his "graduation packet" for the Howard graduation, scheduled for this Saturday, according to police. Buckley's wife received a text message from her husband around 10:16 a.m. telling her he was near the university, police say.

"The contents of the text indicate that it was from Lance Buckley. However, Lance Buckley did not show up for a scheduled meeting at 12:00 noon yesterday at the University and his family has had no contact with him since the 10:16 am (Saturday) text," police said in a statement.

They say it's unusual for Buckley to be out of touch with family and friends.

A Howard University spokesperson told CBS affiliate WUSA that school officials are aware of the case and that campus safety is working with the sheriff's office to locate Buckley.

Buckley is described as a 33-year-old white male, five feet, eleven inches tall and 150 pounds with brown hair. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a dark colored t-shirt and gray Converse sneakers.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Stafford County Sheriff's Office at 540-658-4400, call Crime Solvers at 540-659-2020 or text "Stafford" plus your tip to CRIMES (274637).