AMES, Iowa--It’s been two weeks since an Iowa State University International student was last seen.
Tong Shao, 20, was last seen on September 8 while visiting Iowa City. Police say she told friends she was on her way to Minnesota but no one has heard or seen her since.
“She`s been gone for two weeks with absolutely no contact with anybody that we can find, so that`s certainly very troubling to us,” says Commander Geoff Huff with the Ames Police Department.
Commander Huff says a missing person's report was filed last week, since then the department has exhausted several efforts in the search for Shao.
“We've got Iowa City authorities looking into it, we`ve talked to authorities in Minnesota, we`ve called the bus companies. We`ve pretty much done what we can do at this point, we`re just hoping that somebody out there has seen her,” says Commander Huff.
Shao is currently in her junior year majoring in Chemical Engineering.
“She`s been a good student, pretty reliable usually always came in for appointments and things like that,” says ISU Academic Advisor Shannon Grundmeier.
Grundmeier is Shao's academic advisor and met with her to plan her fall classes. She was shocked to learn Shao was missing.
“Really surprising, really nervous about where she might be, or how she`s doing right now,” says Grundmeier.
Ames Police say Shao lost her phone prior to her disappearance. They say since she's an international student, originally from China, the investigation is proving even more difficult.
“There is certainly some language barriers, there are also some political barriers. Relations within the U.S. and China are not great, so it`s been proving to be a little more difficult than a normal missing person`s case would be,” says Commander Huff.
Police are hoping someone has seen or spoken to Shao but are becoming more concerned with each passing day.
“Our hope is that we find her and she`s okay, our fear is the longer this goes on the more concerning it is,” says Commander Huff.
Ames police say they’ve had some luck in speaking to Shao's parents in China who also have not heard from her.
Police also say they're confident she didn't travel out of the country because there isn't any documentation to support that.
If you have any information you're urged to call Ames Police at 515-239-5133.