Details of Disappearance
Burnet was a senior engineering, mathematics and physics major at Virginia Commonwealth University at the time of his disappearance, and lived in Richmond, Virginia. On December 26, 2011, he took a bus to New York City to stay with friends in the area of 139th Street and Riverside Drive. His last known contact with his parents was a text message he sent them on December 28.
Burnet texted his roommate in Virginia at approximately 4:00 p.m. on December 30, discussing plans for his trip home. His last text messages were to the two females he was staying with in Harlem in the borough of Manhattan. He has never been heard from again. He left his iPhone behind at his friends' apartment, but took his driver's license, MetroCard and credit cards.
Burnet has no history of drug or alcohol problems. He was an Eagle Scout and the valedictorian of his high school class, and got a full scholarship to college. His family describes him as very independent and said he'd lived on his own for years by the time he went missing.
Authorities don't believe foul play was involved in Burnet's disappearance, but his loved ones fear for his safety. His brother believes he could have taken his own life. His case remains unsolved. Both New York and Virginia police are investigating.