CHICAGO (CBS) – University of Illinois at Chicago freshman Shalyha Ahmad disappeared nearly two weeks ago.
Her phone is turned off. There’s no sign of her on social media. Yet, students only learned about it Wednesday, after her family came forward begging the public for help.
But Chicago police say before they can send out an alert they have to confirm a timeline of when that person went missing, conduct interviews and determine how vulnerable the missing person might be.
“To think that someone is missing, it could be someone’s best friend. It’s a close-knit community here at UIC,” said UIC student Hassan Raza
Community activist Andrew Holmes passed out flyers alerting students and faculty about her disappearance while asking anyone with information to come forward.
“I am going to give this to my manager and see if she can put it in the call center to see if anyone around here has seen her,” said Venus Goodwin, a UIC employee.
“Eighteen years old and you’re missing at Christmas time, imagine what her family going through,” Raza said.
While heartbroken and confused, Ahmad’s mother is optimistic that her daughter will return.
“We are really worried about her at this point,” her mother Shetti Fatima Ahmad said. “We are hoping that she is safe wherever she is.”
Family says Ahmad took the Blue Line from Jefferson Park to campus on Dec. 14.
Her parents planned on picking her up from the UIC Student Center East, but Ahmad never showed.
“We checked her belongings everything there, passport is at home,” her mother said.
Students say they are just now hearing about this and never received an alert or notification from the school.
The fact they’re not going to report a girl missing from this very school, it’s a bit shocking to me,” Raza said.
In a desperate plea, Ahmad’s mother, who is from the Philippines, directly addressed her daughter speaking her native language.
Requests for comment from UIC on how their alert system works and why no alert was sent out were not returned Wednesday.
This is case is now being handled by the Chicago Police Department. If you have any information you are asked to call police.