ARLINGTON, Va. — UPDATE:
Sean Byrne's family said Friday he had been located.
A distraught family from the Chicago area is convinced their relative was recently caught on camera trying to carjack two vehicles in Arlington. But they haven't seen him since the incident, and are desperate to bring him home.
The sister of 27-year-old Sean Byrne, Meghan Byrne, says her brother suffered a psychotic break as he was about to fly home. They've been searching for him ever since he ran away from Reagan-Washington National Airport.
A video captured by safety advocate, and former WUSA9 reporter Dave Statter, is blurry but horrifying. Statter heard a radio call for an attempted carjacking and zoomed in on the I-395 ramp at Boundary Channel Drive just in time to see a man, who was allegedly trying to take a car, get hit and knocked over. Footage shows the man rolling around in the middle of the road with cars dodging his body.
According to police, before he had been hit the attempted carjacker had been trying to take a different car. He walked up to a car, from the median, and ordered a woman out of her car. She got out and ran away down the ramp, but the car was a stick shift, and the suspect was unable to drive it.
After calling 911, Statter realized he'd also captured the same man running across the inbound express lanes and then the outbound lanes. On that video, he then vanishes. Neither police nor his family have seen him since.
"We were convinced that was my brother in those videos," Meghan Byrne said.
The Byrne family has spent five days searching for Sean, putting up posters and revisiting all the places in D.C. they'd seen while he was in the city to celebrate his birthday.
"We just really want to find my brother and make sure he's ok," Meghan Byrne said. "We're looking for him, we're trying to find him, and we're worried sick about his safety."
Meghan Byrne said about a half hour before he was due to return home, he became incoherent and seemed to struggle to find words. He went to the airport with another sister, but never got on the plane. Meghan Byrne and her husband rushed to DCA, where they say security camera video showed him running out of the airport and up the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
"Obviously a young man in crisis," Dave Statter said. "I'm a parent ... We understand what it's like if our children, even as adults, we want to protect them."
Arlington Police have not so far named Sean Byrne as a suspect in the attempted carjackings. Police put out a description of the man they are looking for.
"The suspect is described as a white male with a slim build, approximately 30 years old, 6’0”, with dark buzzcut hair, wearing a white short-sleeved shirt and dark pants," the Arlington Police said.
Meghan Byrne said if they named her brother "a person of interest" and went out looking for him, "that would be an amazing next step."
It's been tough for the family to watch the videos.
"He's really a gentle person," Meghan Byrne said, her voice breaking.
The family is pleading with anyone who spots him to call them and the police. You can reach Meghan Byrne at 630-209-6701.