Shalyha Ahmad is an 18-year-old University of Illinois at Chicago student who was reported missing by her family. However, she has since come forward to say that she was never missing.
She stopped into a police station to deliver the news, according to the Chicago police spokesman.
Her distraught family held a news conference on December 26, 2018 in an effort to get more public attention to the case because Chicago police had not issued a missing person’s flyer as they normally do in missing person’s cases.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Shalyha Ahmad Vanished Two Weeks Before the News Conference
Shalyha’s family told ABC 7 and other journalists in a press conference that they hadn’t seen Ahmad since December 14, 2018.
Family members had dropped the teen off at the Jefferson Park Blue Line stop and told her they were going to pick her up at 6:30 p.m. She never arrived, however. She was last seen later that morning by friends, according to the family’s news conference.
Concerning the family all the more: They were going to celebrate her younger brother’s birthday together, but Shalyha never showed up. The Chicago police update did not provide additional information about where she had been.
2. Chicago Police Have Answered Questions About Why They Didn’t Put Out a Missing Person’s Flyer in the Case
According to The Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Police Department confirmed that Shalyha Ahmad was initially a missing person. The Tribune notes, however, that usually a missing person’s flyer is released by the police department but that did not happen in this case.
The police explained they needed to corroborate the timeline.
“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,” Officer Christine Calace wrote to The Tribune in a statement.
3. Ahmad’s Mother Said She Feels Like the Person Who Is Lost
Shalyha’s mother held an emotional press conference with other family members.
“I am feeling lost. I feel like I am the one who is lost,” said the mother to ABC 7. She described the trauma the family has endured in recent days.
“A lot of sleepless nights,” she said, adding that their son sometimes has to remind them to eat.
4. A Tipster Said Shalyha Might Be With Friends From the Filipino Community
In the press conference, Shalyha’s mother said that a tip indicated the young woman might be with Filipino friends at UIC. However, the young woman’s whereabouts remain a mystery.
“You can come home when you’re ready….tell us that you’re safe,” the mother said in the news conference. Ahmad is a liberal arts major at UIC and is a college freshman.
5. Shalyha Was Not Answering Her Phone
According to the Missing Person’s Awareness Network, Shalyha Ahmad is an Asian female standing 5 foot 3 inches tall and weighing 110 pounds. She has long straight black hair and dark brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a multi-colored jacket, jeans, a red beanie, black and white shoes, and a red and black duffel bag.
She never answered her phone and the family can not locate the phone. She was last seen at her school, according to the network.