Art Student Missing for 10 Days Turns Up in LA Unharmed—What Happened?

Sahray Barber claims to have been in Los Angeles all along.

Missing art student Sahray Barber has been found.
Missing art student Sahray Barber has been found.

California art student Sahray Barber, 22, has been reunited with her family after going missing last week, but her sudden return has sparked almost as many questions as her inexplicable disappearance.

Last seen by her roommates around 6 a.m. on Monday, March 9, Barber was reported missing after her cellphone and laptop were found that evening abandoned in the bushes of her apartment complex in San Bernardino, California. She had been on her way to the Art Institute of California, where she was enrolled as a student.

Barber’s disappearance came in the wake of two kidnapping attempts on female students at Cal State San Bernardino (located across the street from her apartment), leading to fears that she was the victim of foul play.

Police bloodhounds searched the area, but the trail went cold outside the complex gate, suggesting Barber got into a vehicle.

As it turned out, Barber made her way to Los Angeles for reasons unknown. Apparently, despite abandoning her primary means of communication and telling no one where she was going, Barber was unaware that she was considered missing until she saw a photo of herself on television. She contacted her father, who informed police detectives of the good news that his daughter was safe and sound.

It remains unclear what motivations were behind Barber’s impromptu trip, or what she was doing without a cell phone or computer for the last week-and-a-half. During the time that she was believed missing, her roommates and ex-boyfriend were questioned by the police, and a vigil was held at her college.

“There are several questions that will need to be answered in the coming days as investigators in this case were given conflicting information from several people who were directly related to the investigation,” a San Bernardino police department spokesman told the local NBC affiliate. “We are happy to report a good ending to a very serious case.”

Neither Barber nor her family has spoken with the press, but her father released a statement over e-mail asking that their privacy be respected. “God has righteously answered all of our prayers in guiding Sahray back to us,”  he wrote. “For this we are ecstatic and so very thankful.”

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