The search for Misrach Ewunetie ’24, who was first reported missing on Sunday evening and was last seen at around 3 a.m. near Scully Hall on Friday, Oct. 14, continues into its fourth day.
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) has asked anyone with information that might help locate Ewunetie to contact them immediately at (609) 258-1000, or submit tips anonymously.
As of Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 11 a.m., according to a message shared with all undergraduates, ongoing search efforts now involve “an increased law enforcement presence on and around campus including the use of a helicopter, drones and watercraft.”
The campus community was first informed via TigerAlert that Ewunetie was missing on Monday night.
On the night of Thursday, Oct. 13, Ewunetie was volunteering at Terrace Club, one of the University’s 11 eating clubs. That night, Ewunetie was a member on “duty” — performing housekeeping tasks during a live music performance at the club.
Terrace Club’s student officers said in a statement to The Daily Princetonian, “On Thursday night, one of our members who was initially signed up for duty was unable to attend our event, and Misrach volunteered to cover their shift. After the club had closed and all of the duty responsibilities had been fulfilled, Misrach—as well as the other members on duty—left for the night.”
The Terrace student leadership added that “the entire Terrace community is sending our love and support to Misrach's family during this extraordinarily difficult and uncertain time.”
Ewunetie’s brother, Universe Ewunetie, told NBC News, “she went back to her dorm at 3 a.m. Her roommates said they saw her at 3 a.m. Then another roommate of hers said she didn’t see her after 4, and then after that that no one has seen her,” adding that he had been texting with her on Oct. 13. (Ewunetie’s brothers had not responded to requests for interviews by the ‘Prince’ by press time.)
The U.S. Sun reported on Wednesday morning that Ewunetie “was due to go for an interview on Saturday 45 miles from Princeton regarding her American citizenship application, but her brother was told she was a no-show.”
Universe told the Sun that the family came to the U.S. from Ethiopia in 2008 and that Misrach grew up in Ohio.
The Sun’s reporting, as well as a video interview from Good Morning America, stated that according to her brother, her phone last pinged at around 3:27 a.m. on Sunday morning from around a housing complex near Penns Neck — around a seven-minute drive away from campus — and appears now to be switched off.
Universe also told the Sun that “he has been to the area with police to search and speak to residents but they did not locate the missing woman or her phone.”
According to CNN, Universe says that the Ewunetie family has been “kept in the dark” about the investigation and “there’s no constant update or interaction with [them].”
Universe was told by authorities that the investigation would take time: “one thing we don’t have,“ he said.
According to an email from Vice President for Campus Life W. Rochelle Calhoun sent to all undergraduate students on Wednesday afternoon, DPS is leading the investigation alongside the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. Calhoun also thanked “local and state police departments that are involved in the search.”
New Jersey governor Phil Murphy tweeted on Thursday morning about the search, mentioning the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, and the New Jersey State Police were all involved.
Kenneth Strother, Jr., Assistant Vice President of DPS, wrote to the ‘Prince,’ “Princeton [town] police was present at our command post today [Wednesday] offering support and services.”
Asked for comment, Princeton Police Department directed the ‘Prince’ to contact DPS. The New Jersey State Police said that they have “no information to provide” about the investigation.
The University Office of Communications and DPS did not provide an update at this time, noting that they would continue to share information as it became available.
The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office did not respond to request for comment.
In the email to undergraduates, Calhoun also provided further detail into the timeline of the start of the investigation, writing, “On Sunday night, October 16, DPS was notified by Misrach’s family that they had not heard from her in several days. They requested that DPS conduct a well-being check.” The investigation began on Sunday. Students were notified at 9:19 pm the following day.
Students in need of mental health support should contact Counseling and Psychological Services at 609-258-3141.
This story is breaking and will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed the statement from Terrace Club student leadership to Terrace Club President Alexander Moravcsik ’23. In fact, the statement came from all the Terrace Club student officers.
Katherine Dailey is a Head News Editor who often covers breaking news, politics, and University affairs. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @kmdailey7.