ATLANTA - A Georgia Tech student, who disappeared late last week, will undergo spinal surgery on Wednesday.
Monday morning, James "Jimmy" Hubert, 24, was found unresponsive along railroad tracks near DeKalb Avenue and Arizona Street.
Friday night, the Phi Delta Theta fraternity member attended a formal before he was reported missing. Investigators said he left the party on his own free will.
Hubert's mother, Diane Hubert, said her son jumped on a MARTA train after leaving the party and when he got off the train he was "jumped, beaten up, robbed and left for dead." She said her son was not on drugs and was not drunk. On Facebook, she said her son was suffering from: broken vertebrae, broken ribs, a broken scapula, a punctured lung, blood on the brain and paralysis on his left side, which she hopes is temporary.
Over the weekend, investigators said Hubert's fellow students, fraternity brothers and friends rallied together and formed their own search party. On Sunday they stayed out until midnight finding possible "pings" from Hubert's phone along with a friend's phone left in his jacket.
"They're tech students, they can know how to track everything," Georgia Tech Police Chief Robert Connolly joked at a news conference Monday while praising the student search party.
Police Chief Connolly said Hubert's phone was pinging off of locations and the students could see last known locations where the phone was. The students went back to the site of the party and they combed the areas around there, never giving up on their friend.
Hubert's high school friend, and Georgia State University student, Emma Jeffery was the the one who found him.
"He is one of my best friends and he needed to be found," said Jeffery. "We were about to turn around and I looked and said 'is that a person,' ran over and sure enough it was Jimmy."
Police said the last GPS coordinate on Hubert's phone showed him to be on Auburn Avenue heading toward DeKalb Avenue.
"The students are the ones to be commended because they thought it was unusual for their friend to go missing," said Lt. Charles Hampton with Atlanta Police.
"I am just really happy," a tearful Diane Hubert told FOX 5 News on Monday. "Really happy I have both my boys, couldn't ask for anything else."
Police said they will wait for Hubert to feel better before talking to him to get more information about what led to his disappearance.
Hubert, who is from Alpharetta and studying aerospace engineering at Ga. Tech, will undergo surgery on Wednesday to fuse 4 broken vertebrae together in the middle of his back. They hope the procedure will help him be able to move his left leg again. The Huberts said their son is suffering from paralysis on his left side, but he can feel his leg, which is a good sign.
Hubert's parents wants to emphasize how grateful they are to those who have reached out to wish them well and they ask people to keep praying for their son.
Georgia Tech said they will work with them to make sure that Hubert is able to complete his studies after he fully recovers
Parents of Missing Georgia Tech Student Speak
Jimmy Hubert’s parents walked outside Grady Memorial Hospital on Tuesday evening to talk with reporters about their son’s weekend ordeal as well as the injuries he suffered in the more than 50 hours he was missing after a Georgia Tech sorority party.
No parent should endure the terror they experienced throughout the weekend as search parties, mostly Georgia Tech students and fraternity brothers, fanned out across Northeast Atlanta to search for Hubert. He was found Monday morning face down near railroad tracks near the corner of DeKalb Avenue and Arizona Street by a friend.
“I went through every emotion imaginable. At one point I would just break down. And at another point, I would just say he’s going to make it. He’s Jimmy and he’s going to pull through this,” Diane Hubert said.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Hubert’s mother said her son was robbed, beaten and left for dead after getting off of a Marta train early Saturday morning. Atlanta police had no comment on their investigation on Tuesday.
Hubert’s father, also named Jimmy, said his son would be dead without the help of his friends. “If it wasn’t for them he might not be with us,” Jimmy Hubert said.
The student’s parents said their son has a long recovery ahead with bleeding on the brain, broken bones and several fractured vertebrae. He will undergo back surgery at Grady on Wednesday.
They said justice is not on their minds just yet. They are focusing on their son’s recovery.