Illinois student, 18, reported missing two weeks after being dropped off at train station by family

Illinois student, 18, reported missing two weeks after being dropped off at train station by family

December 27, 2018

Shalyha Ahmad, 18, was last seen about two weeks ago when her parents dropped her off at a train station.
(Missing Persons Awareness Network)

Authorities have launched a search for an 18-year-old University of Illinois at Chicago student who vanished nearly two weeks ago after her family dropped her off at a train station.

Shalyha Ahmad was last seen at the UIC Student Center East on Dec. 14, hours after her parents dropped her off at a Chicago train station, according to the Missing Person Awareness Network.

Ahmad’s mother, Shetti Fatima Ahmad, said in a news conference Wednesday that she was supposed to pick up her daughter later that night, but she never showed up to their meeting point, WLS reported.

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“We were supposed to meet at 6:30 p.m. [on Dec. 14] because we told her we were going to pick her up from school,” Ahmad said. “She did not arrive at our meeting place and that’s when we got worried.”

The worried mother said she has not been able to reach Shalyha on her cellphone or on social media.

"I'm just trying to appeal to all the people to help us find our daughter," Ahmad said. "Any information would really help us. We are really worried about her at this point. Call us or call 911 or call the TV stations, if you have any information."

She added that she received an anonymous tip that Shalyha may be with friends from the college’s Filipino community. She told the Chicago Tribune that a friend contacted her saying she saw the 18-year-old on campus the same day she was dropped off at the train station to return to campus.

“A friend contacted us to tell us they saw her on campus about 10 or 11 that morning,” Ahmad told the newspaper. “We didn’t know where she disappeared — in the station or in school. So now we know she got to school.”

Chicago police on Thursday said they were searching for Shalyha, who is a freshman at UIC, even though the department not issuing a missing person flyer. They said authorities have been struggling to piece together a timeline of her disappearance, the Chicago Tribune reported.

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“Generally, before we put out public alerts detectives need to corroborate the initial timeline and conduct a risk assessment on the vulnerability of the individual. Depending on where they live, this could take some time to contact individuals and do interviews,” Chicago police officer Christine Calace said in a statement to the Chicago Tribune.

Shalyha was described as being 5 feet 5 inches tall, 110 pounds with long black hair and dark brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a multi-colored jacket paired with blue jeans and a red beanie. She was also carrying a black Chrome messenger bag.

Anyone with information is urged to call (312) 744-8266.

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