Family of missing student, 18, pleading for help in locating her

On December 14, a teenager was last seen at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) campus according to her family. The girl went missing and her family had to spend Christmas Day without her.

On Wednesday, her family pleaded with the public to assist them to find her.

Shalyha Ahmad, 18, is a freshman studying liberal arts at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) campus. She was last seen on campus by a friend at about 10 or 11 a.m. on December 14.

During a press conference on Wednesday, her family, who lives in Chicago, revealed when they last saw her. They said she was dropped off at CTA Jefferson Blue Line station earlier in the day.

For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. The family had planned to pick her up at the UIC Student Center East at 6:30 p.m. that same evening but she never showed up.

Her mother Shetti Fatima Ahmad spoke to reporters on the day after Christmas. She said:

"I'm just trying to appeal to all the people to help us finding our daughter. Any information would really help us. We are really worried about her at this point. Call us or call 911 or call the TV stations, if you any information."

Her family tried to call her but found that her cell phone wasn’t working. Shalyha has also not tried to reach her family using Facebook Messenger as she has in the past.

On the day she went missing, the family was supposed to go out that night and celebrate her brother’s 11th birthday. Her little brother and their father joined Shalyha’s mother at the press conference.

The media briefing ended with Shetti giving a tearful and emotional message to her daughter in Tausug, a language spoken in the Filipino village where the family is from. She also revealed that she’d received an anonymous tip that Shalyha may be with friends from the Filipino community at UIC.

The teenager’s mother pleaded, "You can come home when you're ready, just try to call us and ... tell us that you're safe.” The girl’s family asked the university and CTA to release surveillance video that may help them figure out where she went or who she was with.

The student was described as a 5-foot-5 tall Asian woman, 110 pounds with long straight, black hair and dark brown eyes. She was said to be wearing a multi-colored jacket, blue jeans, a red beanie, and carrying a red and black Chrome messenger bag.

Anyone with information on Shalyha’s location was asked to call detectives at (312) 744-8266.

In a different case, Ian Cruz’s body was found on December 16 with multiple gunshot wounds in the head. A criminal complaint showed that a .22 caliber gun had been used.

The police charged a 13-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy including three other people among five people in the death. The 23-year-old's body was found at the Bayswater Point State Park about a mile from where he lived.  

Sources close to the investigation said the killing may have been linked to the MS-13 gang. The five suspects were arrested in their shared bedroom in Far Rockaway.

A .22 caliber gun and more than 900 live rounds of ammunition were found at the residence.

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