Like many college students on winter break, Matthew Royer and friends got together for a few beers and talked about school and life.
One thing Royer failed to tell two of them, however, was that he planned to stop pursuing a doctor of pharmacy degree and would not be taking spring classes at the University of Rhode Island, where he still is registered as a student.
"This is so out of character," said Nicolle Kulp, 24, who lives in Norristown and also saw him over the winter. "He loves school, he lives for school. Why he didn't tell anything to anybody - it's so bizarre."
Bizarre, too, is Royer's sudden disappearance.
A spokeswoman with the Pennsylvania state police said Tuesday there were no developments in the case of the missing 21-year-old, who was supposed to have arrived home in Skippack Township on Friday after leaving Rhode Island on Thursday so he could live with his parents and work a summer job. Police are continuing to investigate leads.
Police said Royer left his apartment in Narragansett, not far from the university, about 6:30 p.m. Thursday after texting his mother that he was on his way. His parents were out of town when they learned their son did not show up for his job at the Skippack Golf Club, where his brother Ryan is superintendent of the course.
At a news conference Monday at the barracks in Skippack, the spokeswoman suggested that Matthew Royer might have decided on his own not to return home. Also at that time, his parents made a plea for their son to call them.
His mother, Janet, said Tuesday she had not heard from him.
"He still has not been found," she said, as she waited at home with friends and neighbors keeping her and her husband, Randy, company.
Royer last was seen on video from a security camera at 2:05 a.m. Friday at a Sunoco station on Route 100, about a 30-minute drive from his home. A tipster told police he saw Royer driving his 2008 silver Chevrolet Cobalt about 11 hours later at Routes 501 and 422 in Lebanon County, more than an hour from his home.
None of this makes sense to some of the people who know Royer.
"I actually thought that he was going to be in some kind of internship over the summer," said a high school friend who saw Royer over winter break but who asked not to be named.
She also said Royer had failed to mention no longer registering for classes.
"I thought that he was still enrolled, and I don't really understand why he wouldn't be," she said. "I wouldn't expect him to not be enrolled in school and not tell anyone about it."
The fact that Royer did not tell her about dropping pharmacy and not taking classes actually gives her a bit of hope that he has gone away to work some things out, a better scenario than his being a victim of violence.
Still, that possibility is not enough to allay her fears.
"It's just been too long," she said.
Royer is 6-foot-1, weighs 160 pounds, and has brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a dark-green golf shirt, khaki shorts, flip-flops, and a beige baseball cap. His silver Cobalt has Pennsylvania license plate GZR 9059.
Anyone with information can call the Skippack barracks at 610-584-1250.