Tue, Jan 03, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Student missing under suspicious circumstances

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A man made an impassioned plea yesterday for members of the public to help in the search for his daughter, a college student, who went missing on New Year's Eve.

The girl, surnamed Wang, disappeared at the Shin Hai Bridge (新海橋) in Hsinchuang City, Taipei County, on the way to a barbecue on Saturday night with seven classmates from the Chihlee Institute of Technology.

Hsinchuang police said that the eight students rode scooters to the party, with Wang traveling on the back of a scooter ridden by a male classmate surnamed Fan.

Fan told police that his scooter suddenly lost power on the Shin Hai Bridge.

While he examined the scooter to try to assess the problem, Wang made cellphone calls to her classmates on the scooters ahead of them, asking them to wait, Fan said.

"But the next minute, when I turned around, Wang had disappeared without any warning," Fan told the police.

Fan said he did not see or hear anything that would help to explain what had happened to Wang.

Wang's classmates verified that they had conversations with her about the problem with Fan's scooter.

Wang's classmates said she seemed happy that night and they did not see any possibility that she might have committed suicide by jumping off the bridge.

Police said that as the bridge is quite safe, it is equally unlikely that she fell off the bridge accidentally.

A search is being conducted in the waters around the bridge, police added.

Wang's father appeared on the bridge yesterday to display photographs of his daughter and make an appeal for anyone who knew anything about the incident to come forward.

"I do not believe my daughter committed suicide because there was nothing to indicate that she would do so," Wang's father said.

He added that he does not believe Fan's story and suspects that he is involved in his daughter's disappearance.

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