A missing UNM student is now safe and sound after taking a road trip across five different states.
Student Sheena Jain drove through New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Arkansas by herself, Hector Terrazas UNMPD officer said.
Jain went missing on March 6 and was last seen at her family’s home in Las Cruces, said Dan Trujillo, spokesman for the Las Cruces Police department. Jain’s mother reported her as missing to Las Cruces Police that day, he said. Jain was located on March 15 near Socorro by a New Mexico state trooper, he said. She did not have contact with her family during that time, he said.
“Her family hadn’t heard from her,” Trujillo said. “We had reason to believe she may have left the state voluntarily.”
Terrazas said Jain left the state because of frustration she felt with family. She will voluntarily seek counseling services, he said.
Terrazas said UNMPD aided in the search for Jain by locating her current residence near camps. He said that contrary to what other media outlets are reporting, her apartment was not searched by UNMPD officers. He said that after failing to locate Jain’s car in the apartment complex parking lot, officers asked the landlord to open Jain’s apartment and make sure that nothing looked out of the ordinary, while UNMPD officers stood outside.
“We told the landlord that if she saw anything to leave the apartment and lock it up for investigation by APD,” he said.
After nothing was found in the apartment, Terrazas said Jain’s credit card statements were inspected. Jain used the card in the five states she travelled to, mostly for food and gas, Terrazas said. He said that before Jain returned to New Mexico, UNMPD did not know who was using her credit card.
Trujillo said that after the state trooper located Jain, she was removed from the missing persons’ list and was free to go on her way.
“She is an adult,” Trujillo said. “She didn’t do anything illegal so there was no reason for her to be taken into custody.”
Terrazas said UNM, Las Cruces, State, and Albuquerque Police departments combined efforts to locate Jain.
“We were very worried,” he said. “But, we were all working together to find her.”
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