by: Alan Cavanna Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The search continues Sunday for a Charlotte student missing in the Boston area since Tuesday.
Family, friends and volunteers start canvassing Boston neighborhoods for 23-year-old Jon Dailey.
Boston police on Saturday issued a missing person alert and asked for the public's help in locating the graduate student.
Normally, his parent would've been at their Fort Mill church on Sunday.
Instead, church members were there praying for the family.
"You need to know that people care, that people respect you," said Al Wood from the Morning Star Fellowship Church. "And when people care for you, and people respect you, then they'll be there for you."
The Charlotte family is desperately searching for their son. His family said it's unlike him to leave for this long without contacting anyone.
"Basically, a nightmare is the way I can describe it," said Jonathan Dailey's sister, Robyn Hoffman, on Saturday.
"We just have an empty feeling whenever we think about Jonathan not being with us, or when we can't just pick up the phone and call him. It hurts," she said.
Dailey's parents have been very active on Facebook, posting updates several times a day.
Boston police detectives are interviewing friends and combing through surveillance video, but so far there's no sign of the 23-year-old.
"He is a sweet personality. He's very introverted and quiet. He's always dreamed of being an architect," Hoffman said.
Hoffman also said her brother is brilliant. He's working toward his master's degree at the Boston Architectural College.
Dailey hasn't been seen since Tuesday night. His father said his phone charger, passport, eyeglasses and driver's license were left in his apartment.
"We all feel like we're in a nightmare that you never hope to enter. We break down and cry sometimes," Hoffman said.
More than a thousand people are following a Facebook page created by Dailey's parents, who arrived in Boston on Friday to help police.
Dailey's father said there was no sign of forced entry into the apartment, and his son doesn't have a car.
Hoffman said her brother is an Eagle Scout and he still loves to camp, but he's always told someone where he was headed, and he always brought identification.
"We feel like he's out there, kind of off the grid, or on his own. We just have that strong feeling," she said.
In a heartbreaking Facebook post, Dailey's father wrote he visited his son just last week, and thought his son was loving life in the city.
Detectives haven't said if they suspect foul play.
They've looked through surveillance video from nearby restaurants and shopping centers, but didn't find any sign of Dailey.
His family said his phone has been dead for several days and he hasn't used his debit card.
His family has set up a Facebook page asking anyone with information to contact police. Click here to view the page.
Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to call Boston District D-14 (Brighton) detectives at 617-343-4256. Individuals preferring to provide information anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1-800-494-TIPS or by texting the word 'TIP' to CRIME (27463).