Marisia Burton, a 21-year-old student from New Jersey, has been missing since May 16, 2023, when she was last seen leaving her apartment in Orlando, Florida. Marisia is a participant in the Disney College Program, a paid internship program that allows students to work and learn at the Walt Disney World Resort.
What Is the Disney College Program?
The Disney College Program is a unique and immersive program that offers students the opportunity to work and learn at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or the Disneyland Resort in California. The program lasts from four to seven months, and allows students to gain valuable experience, skills, and knowledge in various roles, such as attractions, merchandise, food and beverage, entertainment, hospitality, and more. The program also provides students with academic courses, seminars, workshops, and networking events, as well as housing, transportation, and other benefits.
The Disney College Program is open to students who are currently enrolled in an accredited college or university in the United States, and who have completed at least one semester or have graduated within the past 12 months. The program is highly competitive and selective, and requires students to apply online, complete a web-based interview, and pass a phone interview. The program accepts students from various majors and backgrounds, and aims to foster diversity, inclusion, and collaboration among the participants.
Marisia Burton’s Story
Marisia Burton is one of the thousands of students who applied and got accepted to the Disney College Program for the spring 2023 semester. Marisia is a junior at Rutgers University, where she is majoring in psychology and minoring in criminal justice. Marisia is passionate about helping others, especially children and animals, and dreams of becoming a forensic psychologist or a veterinarian.
Marisia arrived in Orlando in January 2023, and was assigned to work as a merchandise cast member at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Marisia loved her role and enjoyed interacting with the guests and the animals. She also made many friends and had fun exploring the parks and the city. Marisia was happy and excited to be part of the Disney College Program, and looked forward to learning and growing from the experience.
However, on May 16, 2023, Marisia’s life took a tragic turn. Marisia was last seen leaving her apartment at Vista Way, one of the housing complexes for the Disney College Program participants, around 10:30 a.m. She was wearing a black T-shirt, blue jeans, and black sneakers. She was carrying a black backpack and a pink water bottle. She told her roommate that she was going to the library to study for her final exams, and that she would be back later. She never returned.
The Search for Marisia Burton
Marisia’s disappearance was reported to the authorities by her roommate and her parents, who became worried when they could not reach her by phone or text. The authorities launched a search and investigation, and asked for the public’s help in finding Marisia. They released her photo and description, and urged anyone with information to contact the Orlando Police Department or the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
The search for Marisia involved multiple agencies and resources, such as the FBI, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, and the National Crime Information Center. The search also involved various methods and tools, such as aerial surveillance, ground patrols, canine units, drones, and social media. The search also involved the cooperation and support of the Disney College Program, the Walt Disney World Resort, and the Disney community.
The search for Marisia also sparked a massive online campaign, led by her family, friends, and fellow Disney College Program participants. They created and shared various hashtags, such as #FindMarisia, #BringMarisiaHome, and #PrayForMarisia, to raise awareness and spread the word about Marisia’s case. They also created and shared various posters, flyers, videos, and podcasts, to appeal to the public and the media for help and attention. They also created and shared various fundraisers, such as GoFundMe, Venmo, and PayPal, to collect donations and funds for the search and investigation.
The search for Marisia also attracted the interest and involvement of various celebrities, influencers, and organizations, who used their platforms and networks to amplify and endorse the online campaign. Some of the celebrities, influencers, and organizations that joined and supported the search for Marisia are:
- Zendaya, the actress and singer who starred in Disney Channel’s Shake It Up and K.C. Undercover, and who is a friend and mentor of Marisia. Zendaya posted and shared Marisia’s photo and information on her Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, and urged her millions of followers to help find Marisia and bring her home.
- Josh Gad, the actor and comedian who voiced Olaf in Disney’s Frozen and Frozen 2, and who is a vocal advocate for missing persons and social justice causes. Josh Gad posted and shared Marisia’s photo and information on his Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, and offered a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to Marisia’s safe return.
- The Walt Disney Company, the media and entertainment conglomerate that owns and operates the Disney College Program and the Walt Disney World Resort, and that is committed to the safety and well-being of its cast members and guests. The Walt Disney Company issued a statement and a press release expressing its concern and support for Marisia and her family, and pledging its full cooperation and assistance to the authorities and the search efforts. The Walt Disney Company also donated $100,000 to the search and investigation fund, and offered free counseling and resources to the Disney College Program participants and staff who were affected by Marisia’s disappearance.
- The Disney College Program Alumni Association, the official organization that represents and connects the alumni of the Disney College Program, and that fosters a sense of community and pride among the members. The Disney College Program Alumni Association posted and shared Marisia’s photo and information on its website, newsletter, and social media accounts, and encouraged its thousands of members to join and support the search for Marisia. The Disney College Program Alumni Association also organized and hosted various events and activities, such as vigils, rallies, and webinars, to raise awareness and funds for Marisia’s case.
The Mystery of Marisia Burton
Despite the extensive and intensive search and investigation, Marisia Burton remains missing. It has been eight days since she was last seen, and no trace or clue of her whereabouts or fate has been found. The authorities have not ruled out any possibility or scenario, such as abduction, foul play, accident, or runaway, and have not identified any suspect or person of interest. The authorities have also not confirmed or denied any rumor or speculation, such as human trafficking, cult involvement, or mental health issues.
Marisia’s disappearance has baffled and saddened many people, especially her family, friends, and fellow Disney College Program participants, who describe her as a bright, kind, and cheerful person, who loved Disney and life. Marisia’s disappearance has also shocked and alarmed many people, especially the Disney community and the Orlando residents, who wonder how such a thing could happen in the happiest place on earth, and who fear for their safety and security.
Marisia’s disappearance has also raised and highlighted many questions and issues, such as the safety and protection of the Disney College Program participants, the accountability and responsibility of the Disney College Program and the Walt Disney World Resort, the challenges and risks of traveling and studying abroad, and the prevalence and prevention of missing persons and human trafficking cases.
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about Marisia Burton’s disappearance:
- Q: How can I help find Marisia Burton?
- A: You can help find Marisia Burton by sharing her photo and information on your social media accounts, using the hashtags #FindMarisia, #BringMarisiaHome, and #PrayForMarisia. You can also donate to the search and investigation fund, using the links below:
You can also contact the authorities if you have any information or tip that could lead to Marisia’s safe return, using the numbers below:
- Orlando Police Department: (407) 246-2470
- Orange County Sheriff’s Office: (407) 254-7000
- FBI Orlando Field Office: (407) 875-9976
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: 1-800-THE-LOST
- Q: How can I stay updated on Marisia Burton’s case?
- A: You can stay updated on Marisia Burton’s case by following the official and verified accounts and sources that provide the latest and accurate news and updates on Marisia’s case, such as:
- Find Marisia Burton Facebook Page
- Find Marisia Burton Instagram Account
- Find Marisia Burton Twitter Account
- Orlando Police Department Twitter Account
- Orange County Sheriff’s Office Twitter Account.