NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 23-year-old college student has been missing for six weeks, and his family believes he may have been the victim of a crime in Upper Manhattan where he was last seen.
As CBS2’s Sonia Rincon reported, Anthony Ureña always spends Christmas with his family at home on the Upper West Side. His mother, Judith Lopez, said the family is not having any celebration without him.
“We’re not having anything until he comes home,” Lopez said.
The family pieced together what they can about the night Ureña went missing – Nov. 14. He went to the club Cliff in Inwood and left alone. Someone called him a cab, but he didn’t take it home.
“Anthony got out of the taxi and he went to the chimichurri truck which is located on 204 and Tenth Avenue, I guess to buy food. And after that, he started walking toward 203 and Ninth Avenue,” Lopez said.
The family received surveillance video from nearby businesses. It shows Ureña wandering through a parking lot and staggering — appearing intoxicated — past one camera
But family members also noticed something strange. A car is seen coming down the one-way street, turning around and going the wrong way. At that point, Ureña disappears from view.
Lopez said they provided that information to the detectives on the case.
“The department should look into it,” she said.
Ureña’s family has no idea where he was going. They are hoping his cellphone records shed some light on that.
They said the police have subpoenaed T-Mobile for the records.
The Harlem River is half a block away from where Ureña was last seen, and police searched the area with divers after the family reached out to State Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan).
“We want the police to take a look at every single possible lead that may lead to his whereabouts,” Espaillat said.
Those leads include the strange car that went the wrong way.
Lopez said she believes Ureña was the victim of a crime, and said he has never gone on a trip without taking his dog.
“Everywhere Anthony goes, that he knows he’s not coming back right away, he usually takes Sam,” she said.
Lopez has set up a GoFundMe page, and is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to Ureña.
She is hoping to hire a private investigator with the rest of the money raised if the police investigation gets to a dead end.
Ureña is a full-time student at Lehman College in the Bronx, and plans on becoming a certified public accountant.