FIFTH BELLEVUE WOMAN REPORTED MISSING
By Lorenzia Henner - Staff Reporter
Bellevue native Yasmine Shipstad was reported missing yesterday. The 23-year old University of Washington graduate student never made it home after spending Thursday night studying for a biochemistry mid-term exam.
The report was made by parents Portia and Hunter Shipstad, who had been in contact with their daughter's roommate, Luisa Stephenson, since the following morning.
"It isn't like my daughter to just disappear like this. She would have called, would have let us know that something was wrong," said Hunter Shipstad. Similar sentiments were reported by the missing girl's mother and roommate.
This is just one of five recent missing persons reports in Bellevue within the past 14 months. In each case a local woman between the ages of 19 and 30 was reported missing by friends and family shortly after disappearing without a trace.
"Bellevue PD currently has no reason to believe the cases are connected. We are looking into every possible lead." said Bellevue Police Detective Richard Myers, the lead investigator on all missing persons reports in the city.
FBI Criminal Profiler Leeham Dawkins disagreed, saying, "the profiles of the victims are too similar, and the disappearances too frequent, for these to be isolated incidents." Dawkins was brought in by Bellevue PD to consult on the case.
"These women were all pillars of their community in some way, and at a relatively young age. They were straight-A students, volunteers, and social rights activists. Their families all report that cutting off contact was highly out of character. Five disappearances in 14 months is no small thing," said Dawkins.
The families of the other missing women have come together to support the Shipstad family, and a candlelight vigil will be held at a park near Shipstad's home on Monday night.
"The support from the community has been really great," said Portia Shipstad, "but I honestly just want my daughter back."
Yasmine Shipstad was a straight-A student at the University of Washington graduate chemistry program. Her professors esteemed her as a highly promising student with a very bright future researching the biochemical interaction of truLight Beacons. She hoped to find a cure for Beacon addiction.
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