Search Continues for Missing Iowa State Student

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By Aaron Hepker

AMES — The search continues Monday for an Iowa State University student missing for 10 days. Much of the search Monday is taking place on campus. University officials have asked custodians, maintenance and construction crews to thoroughly search all areas of campus as part of their normal routine. ISU workers are checking remote areas like steam tunnels, mechanical rooms and storage closets, any area that might get overlooked. Jonathan Lacina, 21, was last seen leaving 300 Stanton Ave. at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 22. Friends and family said they have not seen or heard from Lacina since then. His father reported him missing on the morning of Jan. 30. Lacina, a senior graphics design major from Grinnell, is white, 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighs 155 pounds and has brown hair and green eyes. He was last seen wearing a black coat and blue jeans. The Search: Rescue crews are searching the grounds in the area between Campustown and Lacina's home at Buchanan Hall on the south side of the campus. University staff members are also checking mechanical rooms, elevator shafts, garages, sheds and other remote locations. Officials said all the campus residence halls and apartments are being searched. Fraternity and sorority leaders also are checking those houses. Police said the search will go on day and night, as long as places can be safely checked. Students said the disappearance is hitting home with them. "It's terrifying, because we leave the College of Design around 2 a.m., 1 a.m. or even 4 a.m. and we walk home, drive home or wait for the bus outside," said graphic design major Sarah Bruketta. "You just never know where you could end up." ISU police requested a helicopter to aid in the search. Dive teams are being called out to search local waterways, including Lake LaVerne on the university's campus. Need Public's Help In Search Police are asking the public to keep an eye out, but to let the professionals handle the search. "We appreciate the early offers of help, and ask that any potential volunteers stay available -- but we have adequate resources at this time," ISU Police Chief Jerry Stewart said. "The worst thing is not being able to help," said father Tom Lacina. "But we understand that if we tried to help, they'd have to have three policemen with us." "We just want to do everything possible to locate Jon and as soon as we can," Stewart said. "I think the search efforts are exhaustive and will continue to be so." Statement from President Geoffroy On Search: "As the search for our missing student, Jonathan Lacina, enters a third day, I ask that all students, faculty and staff be attentive to the extensive activities that are taking place on campus and in surrounding areas of Ames. If you see something unusual or suspicious, or find articles of clothing or personal items, don't disturb them and immediately call ISU Police at 515-294-4428 or Ames Police at 515-239-5133. "The search is being expanded on campus today as staff members check mechanical and maintenance areas, storage rooms and steam tunnels. "I want to thank ISU Police, Ames Police, the Story County Sheriff's Office, Story County Emergency Management, the Iowa State Patrol, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, STAR 1 Search and Rescue and Mercy One Helicopter for their exhaustive and dedicated search efforts over the weekend. Iowa State University is grateful for this support in seeking answers to the disappearance of Jonathan. "While law enforcement officials have said there is no reason to suspect foul play, this situation is a reminder to all of us to think about personal safety, which includes avoiding remote and unfamiliar areas and traveling in groups, when possible. "Finally, please keep Jonathan and his family utmost in your thoughts and prayers. We hope that the extensive search will find him safe and healthy. Anyone with information is asked to immediately call ISU police at 515-294-4428 or 911 from a campus phone.

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