Police to Press Charges Over Search for Missing Art Student


After going missing for ten days earlier this month, only to resurface unharmed in Los Angeles, Art Institute of California student Sahray Barber has finally spoken out about her mysterious disappearance (see Art Student Missing for 10 Days Turns Up in LA Unharmed—What Happened?), and the San Bernardino police department will be pressing charges for the high cost of the 10-day search.

“I was honestly shocked when I learned from S.B.P.D. personnel and my family all that had been done to locate me,” said Barber in a statement released yesterday. “I expected to be another missing persons case and, having not planned to return, I’d chosen not to look back or pay any mind to any searches or investigations related to my disappearance. I never could have imagined any of this, just like I had no clue what the impact of my leaving would have on so many lives.”

Barber cited several contributing factors in her decision to run away: pressure to maintain a high GPA, computer difficulties that had put her behind in her school work, and the loss of her car in an accident, which forced her to rely on others for transportation. “By not reaching out to family or even school officials, I created a recipe for disaster,” Barber admitted. “Things got so bad that I didn’t know what to say or HOW to ask for help. I had dug a hole so deep, that I felt entirely hopeless.”

As Barber was speaking out for the first time since resurfacing in Los Angeles, San Bernardino police chief Jarrod Burguan was releasing a video statement about the case. In addition to detailing the high cost of the search, which was in the tens of thousands of dollars, Burguan relayed the department’s intention to file charges in the case in connection to “some of the false statements” that drove up the cost of the investigation.

From there, it would be up to the city courts and attorneys to determine whether the department could seek restitution. There is “a lot of angst and a lot of anger over the resources that were expended,” Burguan added.

The art student attributed her change of heart to an “angel” she met in LA who convinced Barber to reach out to her family, and her message ends on a hopeful note, expressing her desire to get her “life back on track.”


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