Family of UGA student release statement about disappearance

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The family of the missing University of Georgia student who was found early Wednesday morning has issued a statement about his disappearance.

Byron Grogan, 19, was last seen around 9 p.m. Monday on a trail at the Chattahoochee Point Park. When he didn’t come home by 11 p.m., his parents went to the park, but only found his silver Hyundai sedan and his key fob on the ground nearby.

In a statement released Wednesday evening, the family wrote:

"We thank God that our son is alive and well. We sincerely appreciate the incredible support from our family, friends, law enforcement, volunteers and entire community throughout this time. The support has been truly overwhelming. We’d especially like to thank the law enforcement and fire/rescue agencies who worked tirelessly to find our son. Their response from the beginning was immediate, comprehensive, and highly professional. Our community is truly blessed to have such wonderful support from our law and rescue organizations. We’d also like to thank the media for getting the word out so quickly. We are eternally grateful to you all. Byron became lost and disoriented while attempting to run home through the forest from the outer boundary of the park, after believing the park's driveway gates would be closed before he finished his run. We are so happy to have him home."

Nearly 50 law enforcement officers and firefighters, including Forsyth County Fire, Gwinnett Fire, Johns Creek Fire, Gainesville Police, Georgia State Patrol Aviation Unit, Georgia DNR, Forsyth Park Rangers and the US Park Service, along with the help of more than 200 volunteers, searched the park, the woods, and the trails along the Chattahoochee River near McGinnis Ferry much of Tuesday.

The sheriff’s office announced he was found around 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Forsyth County Sheriff Ron H. Freeman thanked all the volunteers writing on the sheriff’s office’s Facebook page:

“We are so proud to live in such a caring community that does not hesitate to show their support to both the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office and their fellow citizens.”

The sheriff said Grogan is safely home with his family.