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Worried Virginia mother pleads for help in locating missing son Marcus Thompson

The 32-year-old was last in contact with his family via text messages in January 2021.

UPDATE: Marcus Thompson was found safe in Northern Virginia on August 19, according to his mother Lynetta Thompson.

When Marcus Thompson went home to Richmond, Virginia on break from Hampton University, he always made time for family. Even when he later lived in Pittsburgh for several years, working hard at his job in finance, he always managed to come home or at least check in with his loved ones.

“When he’d come home, he’d pull everybody together,” his mother Lynetta Thompson told Dateline. “He’s family-oriented like that and always wanted us all together.”

But it’s been nearly a year since she’s laid her eyes on Marcus or heard his voice, and eight months since family members were in touch with him via text messages.

Lynetta told Dateline that she believed her son was OK, and just living his life. But with each passing day that she doesn’t hear from Marcus, she has grown more and more concerned.

“I just want to hear his voice,” she said. “I just want to know that he’s OK.”

Marcus, who was 31 years old when he was last seen in 2020, had recently moved back to the Richmond, Virginia area, to his mother’s house in Sandston, specifically.

After graduating from Hampton University, Marcus moved to Pittsburgh where he worked in finance for about seven years. But when his company was downsizing in 2019, Marcus took the opportunity to move home and regroup.

Lynetta told Dateline that he was in good spirits, had taken a buyout, was financially stable and was setting his sights on entrepreneurship.

When he wasn’t busy figuring out a new career path, he was refinishing the basement at his 89-year-old grandmother’s home. Lynetta told Dateline that Marcus had talked about living in the new space once it was done. But it also wasn’t unusual for Marcus to pick up and leave for days or a few weeks at a time.

“He was single, not married, no kids - so he was living his life,” Lynetta said. “He’d go visit friends from school and they’d go on trips. When he left last year, I didn’t think anything of it. He’d check in with me or someone eventually. But he never did.”

Marcus was initially reported missing by his mother on November 4, 2020, Henrico County Police Lieutenant Matthew Pecka told Dateline. A couple of weeks later, he was located safe by Virginia State Police in Fairfax. At the time the state trooper reported that Marcus said he was on the way home.

“I felt like he was OK at that point,” Lynetta said. “But then things happened between then and now that has made me believe that he’s not safe.”

Marcus missed the holidays. His next contact with the family was in January 2021 when he responded to his younger brother’s text message. Lynetta told Dateline that her youngest son begged Marcus to call.

“He said he would, but he never did,” she said. “We never heard his voice. This was just not his behavior at all.”

Lynetta said red flags kept popping up over the next few months.

One of Marcus’s cousins, with whom he had been close, died unexpectedly in March. The family attempted to reach him. But got no response.

Lynetta said her son’s cell phone was no longer in service.

The lack of response to his cousin’s death is what prompted Lynetta to again call police. She said she attempted to file another missing persons report, but said she was told that unless she believed Marcus was a danger to himself or others, he’s an adult and essentially allowed to not be in contact with his family.

“I didn’t want to believe he was missing,” she said. “So I kept believing he was OK.”

At Lynetta’s home, Marcus’s last known residence, mail and bills in her son’s name began piling up. Hoping for answers, Lynetta opened the mail, only to find out that none of his bills had been paid and that they were all in collections.

She also discovered a traffic ticket from June 14 for his burgundy 2004 Nissan. Lynetta told Dateline that she is not sure that her son is even in possession of the vehicle anymore.

“At this point, I have to believe that he’s in danger or a danger to himself,” Lynetta said. “But I was still at a loss of what to do.”

This month, with the help of her family, the worried mother posted a flier with Marcus’s photo and information on social media. Friends who went to school with Marcus are now rallying together for their fellow “Hamptonian” by sharing the fliers and agreeing to hang them in the Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh areas.

“I just want to know that he’s OK,” Lynetta said. “But I just feel it in my heart that, at this stage, something is extremely wrong. I’m just worried.”

Marcus, who turned 32 years old in May, is described as being 6’2” tall, weighing about 185 lbs. He has black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information on Marcus’s whereabouts can call the Henrico County Police Department at (804) 501-5000.