July 20, 2010

07/20/07: Asim Chaudhry, 24, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Three years ago today, Asim Chaudhry, 24, of Burnaby, British Columbia told an older brother that he planned to go to Simon Fraser University to study. His family has not seen him since.

Asim had graduated from SFU and enrolled in a statistics course after graduation. He often studied in the library and liked to work out in the gym at the school. Asim was last seen by his brother at approximately 5 p.m. as he was headed out the door. When his brother asked where he was going, Asim reported that he was headed to SFU to study. His brother noticed his bag seemed to be packed extra full with clothes. Asim's textbook was left on the dining room table.

Later investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police revealed that Asim was last seen by a friend at around 10 p.m. when he was dropped off at the Skytrain Station at Production Way.

Asim had been visiting with the friend at his home in New Westminster. The friend's wife was away and he was watching their children. At Asim's suggestion, they took the kids out to the McDonald's at Brentwood Town Centre for an ice cream. They men apparently spent some time catching up, then parted ways at the Production Way SkyTrain station around 10 p.m., the friend going home with his children and Asim saying he was off to SFU. Asim told the friend that he was going up to campus to study for the upcoming exam.

Asim hasn't been seen since that time.

Simon Fraser University Security have searched the buildings on campus to no avail.

Chaudhry's mother, Mansura, has acknowledged that Asim may have been having some difficulties around the time he disappeared. Mansura and her husband were going through a separation, and Asim, who had graduated from Simon Fraser in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in political science, had also not found work and a teaching assignment in Korea did not pan out. In a press conference, she reported that Asim had seemed "very, very stressed out or depressed" in the months before he disappeared and that he was reading "tons and tons of books," including The Pessimist's Handbook, which he had borrowed from the library. His mother asked him about it, but he said it was only reading material.

But then in the last two to three months before his disappearance, his behavior had changed and things appeared more positive. Asim began willingly going places with his mother and seemed happy. On the day he disappeared, he also wrote a short e-mail--the last e-mail Asim is known to have sent--to a good friend who was teaching in Japan, saying he appreciated the friend's friendship and support and looked up to him as a mentor.

The plans he had made that night were also with an old friend with whom he had been out of touch with for years. The two men had met up by chance a few weeks before Asim went missing, and the friend invited him over to his home in New Westminster to watch a movie.

Asim has not been seen since he boarded the SkyTrain to SFU. He has not used his cellphone, including to return the numerous messages left by his family and friends, accessed any bank account, or retrieved any of the items he stored at the gym for working out.

The RCMP continues to investigate the disappearance.

Our prayers go out to Asim's family and friends at this very painful anniversary. We truly hope that Asim is found safe!

If you have seen Asim Chaudhry, or have any idea as to where he may be, please contact the Burnaby RCMP at 604-294-7922, or your local police detachment, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Quick Facts
Name/age: Asim Chaudhry, 24
Residence: Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
College: Simon Fraser University
Last seen: 07/20/07
Physical Description: 24 years old, East Indian male, 6'2," slim build, black short curly hair, beard, sometimes wears glasses. Last seen wearing dark grey sweatpants