CHICAGO (CBS) — Just hours after police said a UIC student who had vanished was believed to be safe, authorities said 18-year-old Shalyha Ahmad stopped into a police station to tell authorities she was never missing.
Ahmad is a freshman at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and friends said they last saw her on campus on Dec. 14, but had seen or heard from her since then.
Thursday afternoon, Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi announced Ahmad stopped into a police station “and indicated she was safe and never missing.”
Earlier in the day, CPD First Deputy Supt. Anthony Riccio said police believed no crime was involved in her disappearance, and detectives believed she was safe.
Police did not elaborate on where Ahmad had been before she showed up at a police station. Detectives have now closed the missing person case.
Ahmad’s family had said she took a Blue Line train from Jefferson Park to campus on Dec. 14, and they planned to pick her up at UIC Student Center East, but she never showed.
UIC students only learned about her disappearance Wednesday, after her family came forward begging the public for help.
“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.”
Ahmad’s mother said her family checked her belongings, and nothing seemed to be missing. Her passport was still at home.
Community activist Andrew Holmes passed out flyers alerting students and faculty about her disappearance while asking anyone with information to come forward.
UIC students said they 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.
UIC officials said they issue public safety advisories when a crime occurs on or near campus, posing an “ongoing or imminent threat” to the safety of the university.
“Whether the campus issues a public safety advisory is assessed on a case-by-case basis in light of all the facts surrounding a crime, including factors such as the nature of the crime, the ongoing or imminent danger to the campus community, and/or the possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts,” UIC spokeswoman Sherri McGinnis Gonzalez stated in an email.