The Daily Gamecock

USC student missing since early Saturday, last seen on Georgia Street

USC student Sam Laundon went missing early Saturday morning and was last seen around 2:30 a.m. on Georgia Street.

A missing person’s report was filed on Saturday and is being investigated by the Richland County Sheriff's Department (RCSD).

RCSD has conducted an aerial drone search, K-9 search and search on foot for Laundon, RCSD public affairs officer Cynthia Roldan said in a statement on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

"RCSD's helicopter is expected to conduct an aerial search shortly, as well," Roldan said.

RCSD switched to a plane for the air search so the helicopter could be refueled as of 5:05 p.m. on Sunday, according to Roldan. The plane will search for Laundon until nightfall. The Columbia Fire Department is also assisting in the search. 

A search party for Laundon started at 7 a.m. on Oct. 11 at Rivers Edge Apartments. “Anyone is welcome,” an Instagram story post from USC student Nickie Joseph, Laundon’s girlfriend, said. 

Roldan said the police responded to a noise complaint near Kentucky and Georgia streets they received at about 11:45 p.m.

The police broke up a crowd of students, said an anonymous USC student who was there. Laundon was among the last students to leave.

“I was the last one there," a USC student said. "Most of the people left at that point. He and I were just in the backyard; he was comforting me through that.”

Laundon was last seen by Joseph wearing a green t-shirt, white shorts, a blue jacket and black shoes. Joseph had called an Uber, and Laundon jumped a nearby fence before the Uber arrived.

“[H]e jumped it before the uber and refused to come back when the uber arrived and I had to get people home so I left,” Joseph said in a text.

This story will be updated as more information develops.

If you have any information concerning this case, dial 1-888-CRIME-SC with tips, contact Columbia police at 803-545-3500, the Richland County Sheriff's Department at 803-576-3000 or USCPD at 803-777-4515.

This article was updated Oct. 11 at 5:15 p.m. 

—Tyler Fedor contributed to the reporting in this article.