A childhood friend of a San Diego State University student reported missing in Spain says Austin Taylor Bice is “charismatic, super nice and a talented athlete.”
Bice was last seen Friday after a night of partying with friends according to Spanish newspapers. They say he left his ID behind and has not used his credit cards since his disappearance.
Bice, originally from Carlsbad, played football at Torrey Pines High School. He is currently studying abroad in Spain through an SDSU exchange program.
Connor Fabiano has known Bice since fourth and fifth grade. They went to Torrey Pines High School together. He says Bice is not a partier and would not just go off on his own.
“He has a very close relationship with his close friends and family, so the fact that he wouldn't contact them when being in Madrid is unthinkable," said Fabiano.
He was surprised when he heard that Bice was reportedly intoxicated at the nightclub, because he's never seen Bice drunk. Fabiano says it's possible that Bice "might have one beer too many", but says Bice was "at the most a social drinker."
Fabiano thinks that after Bice was turned away from the nightclub, he decided to walk home because he didn't want to be a bother to anyone. But Fabiano says Bice would never just take off, and leave Madrid without notifying his friends and family.
He was not impetuous.
"He would think things through,” said Fabiano. "He was not the kind of guy who'd say, 'Hey, I'm not going to tell anybody where I'm going for a week,' and just go right now. I never saw him do anything like that."
Fabiano says Bice is a big, nice guy, whom no one would ever have a problem with, and no one would want to have a fight with.
"I mean I've seen on the Internet a lot of people talking, 'Oh, it's just another drunk kid that likes to party.' That's not true, and it couldn't be further from the truth," said Fabiano.
Roommates and friends have posted flyers in Madrid hoping to gain some information about his whereabouts.
One roommate told the newspaper El Pais that Bice was last seen at a nightclub, standing outside after being refused entry by bouncers. The roommate claims Bice was too intoxicated to be admitted to the club, the paper reported. It was while he was waiting outside the club with a friend that Bice decided to leave on his own, his friends said.
Police have opened an investigation into Bice's whereabouts according to the paper.
Bice's father arrived in Spain Wednesday to help in the search while friends and family are asking for help on Facebook.
Bice's father told El Pais that he hasn't been eating or sleeping and is under a lot of pressure to find his son, according to the paper's translation.
The university issued a statement Wednesday:
"We were made aware of the situation on February 27th and we're deeply concerned. We've been in regular contact with the host university, as well as the local authorities in Madrid, the State Department and his family and we are doing what we can to help in the search for him."