Facebook and Reddit assist search for missing 22-year-old Ian Burnet

Ian Burnet
CBS New York
Ian Burnet
CBS New York

(CBS) NEW YORK - Friends and family searching for a missing Virginia man are using Facebook and Reddit to track down clues that could help them find 22-year-old Ian Burnet, who has not been seen since Dec. 30 in New York City.

Burnet came to New York the day after Christmas to celebrate the New Year with friends, but he disappeared after leaving the apartment where he was staying, leaving behind his cell phone, wallet, laptop and iPod.

Hundreds of volunteers have been posting flyers across New York City, Richmond and New Kent County, Va.

A Facebook page, which so far has more than 2,000 members, has dozens of photos and organizing documents for those looking to help, including tips for media and government outreach.

New York Maganize reports Burnet's family has also appealed for help on the popular online community Reddit, where Burnet spent most of his internet time.

Burnet's older brother Jamie, also a Reddit user, posted in the "NYC" and "Assistance" sections of the website. He wrote, "His last credit card transactions were for a $20 Metro card on the 30th and a Burger King transaction we believe was on the 31st. For all we know he got out of town somehow...he could be broke and hitchhiking back down the East Coast to Virginia. I don't know."

Commenters have been responding with posts of sympathy and suggestions. They have advised the family to check his laptop, and one even posted the thought: "Have you ever thought he DOESN'T want to be found?"

His brother wrote back: "Yes. There's a very real possibility that he took his own life, and I'm trying not to think about it. He has a history of depression, and there have been scares before. But he didnt leave any last messages behind, which would be extremely uncharacteristic ... I'm hoping that's not the case."

Anyone with information should contact (212) 690-8811 and ask for Detective Sanchez, Detective Davis, or Sergeant Greene at the NYPD's 30th Precinct.

More on Crimesider:

January 10, 2012 - Parents set up website to help find missing Va. man, 22, last seen in NYC on Dec. 30