Police presence increases at Princeton University as search for missing student continues

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Thursday, October 20, 2022
Police on campus as search for missing Princeton student continues
Misrach Ewunetie, 20, is an undergraduate student who was last seen on campus on October 14.

PRINCETON, New Jersey (WABC) -- The search continues for a missing Princeton University student and local law enforcement is increasing their efforts.

Misrach Ewunetie, 20, is an undergraduate student who was last seen around 3:00 a.m. on October 14.

Ewunetie's brother spoke to ABC News and provided more details on the timeline of her disappearance.

Her family says Misrach Ewunetie spent Thursday night at an event with the Princeton Terrace Club, a food eating club. They say she left to go back to her dorm between 2:30 a.m. and 3 a.m.

According to one of her suitemates, she was home at about 3 a.m., and told them she was at the club that night, brushed her teeth, and then went to her room.

The family says her direct roommate came home at around 4:30 a.m., but said she didn't see Ewunetie in their shared room.

The family had been trying to call her on Friday, but calls were ringing through. Her phone was receiving messages.

On Saturday, Ewunetie was supposed to have an interview about 45 minutes away from campus regarding her U.S. citizenship application and the family became concerned when she was a no show. The family came over from Ethiopia in 2008.

By Sunday, text messages weren't getting delivered, and her phone went straight to voicemail. That's when the family says they got very concerned.

Ewunetie's other brother Johnatan, then checked her Apple location sharing, and saw that her phone's last ping was at 3:30 a.m. Sunday, near an off-campus housing complex that University said was about a 30 minute walk from her dorm.

The last time her cell phone was pinged to a cell tower was 6 a.m. Sunday.

School officials said the Department of Public Safety was notified by Ewunetie's family on Oct. 16 that they had not heard from her for several days and they requested a well-being check.

The next day on Monday, DPS issued a missing student Tiger Alert.

By Wednesday, more Princeton police were patrolling the university campus and deployed a helicopter, drones, and watercraft to increase their search radius.

Ewunetie was on school grounds near Scully Hall when she was last seen, according to the Princeton Department of Public Safety.

The university released a statement Wednesday, saying that the school's hearts and thoughts are drawn back to the campus community as the search continues.

"Since the issuance of the Tiger Alert, our campus community has demonstrated an outpouring of support, concern, prayers and hopes for Misrach's well-being and safe return," part of the statement said. "Thank you to everyone for continuing to hold Misrach and her family in your thoughts as our search continues."

Anyone with information on Ewunetie's whereabouts should contact the Department of Public Safety at (609) 258-1000 or contact local authorities.

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Crystal Cranmore reports from the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Ave. station in Queens.


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