EDUCATION

Princeton University officials are intensifying the search for a student who disappeared last week

Oct 20, 2022, 5:00 AM
It's been five days since 20-year-old Misrach Ewunetie, a junior at Princeton University, went miss...
It's been five days since 20-year-old Misrach Ewunetie, a junior at Princeton University, went missing, prompting university officials to intensify their search. (Photo credit: Princeton University)
(Photo credit: Princeton University)

(CNN) — It’s been five days since 20-year-old Misrach Ewunetie, a junior at Princeton University, went missing, prompting university officials to intensify their search.

Ewunetie was last seen around 3 a.m. near a residential building on the New Jersey campus, according to the university. The university first reported her missing on Monday and is continuing to ask the public for insight into her whereabouts, as its public safety department ramps up search efforts.

“As part of the continuing efforts to locate missing undergraduate student Misrach Ewunetie ’24, there is an increased law enforcement presence on and around campus today including the use of a helicopter, drones and watercraft,” the university said in an update to the community Wednesday morning.

The university is urging anyone with information pertinent to the search to contact the Department of Public Safety.

Officials said Ewunetie has black hair, brown eyes and a light brown complexion. She is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs about 130 pounds.

Ewunetie was volunteering at one of the school’s 11 eating clubs on Thursday night, the president of the club told the student newspaper The Daily Princetonian. Terrace Club President Alexander Maravcsik told the paper Ewunetie was a member on “duty” doing housekeeping work during a live music performance at the eating club.

“On Thursday night, one of our members who was initially signed up for duty was unable to attend our event, and Misrach volunteered to cover their shift. After the club had closed and all of the duty responsibilities had been fulfilled, Misrach — as well as the other members on duty — left for the night,” Maravcsik wrote to the paper.

Sara Elagad, executive director of the nonprofit Minds Matter Cleveland, told CNN Ewunetie’s disappearance was out of character. Ewunetie was a 2020 graduate of the Minds Matter Cleveland program, which looks to close the education gap with high-achieving low-income students.

“It is not at all in character for her to purposely go off the radar or be out of touch with family,” Elagad said. “We are supporting her family as they assist law enforcement efforts to safely locate her.”

Ewunetie was 2020 honors graduate of The Villa St. Angela – St. Joseph High School, according to a statement from the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. “We are praying for her swift and safe return,” a statement from Deacon James Armstrong read.

In an email to students, W. Rochelle Calhoun, Princeton’s vice president for campus life, said Ewunetie’s family had contacted the school Sunday night to request a well-being check after not hearing from her in several days.

“Since Sunday, DPS has been actively working with the Prosecutor’s Office and with state and local police departments to follow all leads in the search for Misrach,” Calhoun said in the email. “I am confident that all is being done to find Misrach.”

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Princeton University officials are intensifying the search for a student who disappeared last week