Students and police search for ISU student


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An Iowa State University student from China, Tong Shao, has gone missing, and international students at the University of Iowa are using social media to try to help find her.

Tong is in her junior year of studying chemical engineering at ISU; she was last seen on Sept. 8 in the Iowa City area, according to a Facebook post from the Ames Police Department. 

The post said she was visiting and would soon go to Minnesota to see friends. No contact has been made with her since that date. 

Aside from the police investigation of the situation, UI students have taken to social media to aid in the search.

“We’ve been sending re-chats and messaging each other looking for this girl,” UI junior Zhijin Huang said.

The students have been using messaging apps such as QQ messenger, MSN messenger, and WeChat to spread the word.

“I feel really sorry,” Huang said. “[I] want to find out what’s happening with this girl.”

UI freshman Chenyuan Ma said a large portion of the international student community is contributing to the spread of information.

“I heard she was missing about 10 days ago,” Ma said. “We’re doing our best to find her.”

Some students said the situation made them desire to be more aware of public safety in Iowa City and the United States as a whole.

“Iowa is a safe place; how can this happen?” Ma said. “I’ve never heard of anything like this before.”

As students aid with social media, police Sgt. Scott Gaarde confirmed the Iowa City police are also helping with the case.

“We are participating in the investigation at this point, but that’s all I can really say,” he said.

While an open investigation limits the information the police can release, Gaarde described the general process of a missing-person case.

“[We] try to determine where the person has been and contact anyone who may have had contact with the individual,” he said.

While the Ames police are in charge of the investigation, local police contribute what they can.

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