Boston, Jul 1: A 15-year-old Indian boy on a visit to Los Angeles as part of an educational tour has gone missing last week.
Lovedeep Singh was last seen on the morning of June 23 and authorities are seeking the public's assistance in finding the boy.
Authorities said while the circumstances surrounding Singh's disappearance are unclear, “there is currently no evidence of foul play”.
“As each day passes, our concern heightens,” said Darnell Davenport, commanding officer of detectives in the Police Department's Southwest Division.
Davenport said his department was concerned that Singh, who has a substantial amount of money in his pocket, “befriended someone over the Internet and maybe they came and picked him up”.
“He doesn't really speak English. Where would he go? Who would he communicate with? Where would he stay every night? He is 15 years old,” Davenport added. The Los Angeles Police Department said Singh speaks Hindi and “knows limited English,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
Singh and his 10-year-old brother were part of a group of about 30 people who had arrived from India for an educational trip that was to include tourist spots in California.
It was Singh's first visit to Los Angeles and he is not familiar with the area, authorities said. Five LA detectives flew to San Francisco to interview members of Singh's tour group at the Indian Consulate.
Releasing details of Singh's height and weight, authorities said the teenager was carrying a red back pack and wearing a grey shirt and pants when he went missing.
Singh was taking photographs in front of a hotel across the street from the University of Southern California when he vanished.
Singh apparently remained outside when the rest of the group went into the hotel.
An hour later, when the group leaders took a head count, they discovered they were “one body short”. Police said it was difficult to question other members of the tour group since they knew limited English.
The group later continued its trip to San Francisco and were scheduled to fly back to India on Friday. KGO, a local television news channel affiliate of ABC news said, the more than 30 students from two different Indian schools were traveling together for a 10-day tour of California, with the last three days to be spent in San Francisco.
“Although the tour group had a packed itinerary for San Francisco, including the California Academy of Sciences, and a host of other tourist destinations, they spent all afternoon stuck on a bus outside the Indian Consulate,” the news channel said.
Police say there's no sign of him yet and they're running out of ideas, the news channel said.
“The investigation was ongoing and we were following through on certain leads, but none of them had panned out to be things that leads that would lead us to locating him,” Davenport was quoted as saying. PTI