Disappearance of college student under investigation by state police

His father reported him missing after he failed to return from trip

Metro

News from around the Baltimore region

April 30, 2005|By Gina Davis | Gina Davis,SUN STAFF

Missing-person fliers have been posted across the campus of York College in Pennsylvania as Maryland State Police continued searching for clues in the disappearance of a student who was last seen April 15 boarding an Amtrak train in Harrisburg, Pa., heading to New York City, authorities said yesterday.

Patrick Michael Welsh, 22, had made arrangements to visit friends in New York and return April 19, according to Maryland State Police at the Westminster barracks.

His father, Michael Welsh of Sykesville, reported him missing April 22, police said.

Officials from the college said that although Patrick Welsh was not on campus when he disappeared, they are helping in the effort to find him.

"We have posted fliers that state he is missing and have a photo of him," said Cobey Dietrich, assistant director of public relations. "Our Department of Public Safety has spoken with friends and roommates trying to determine who last had contact with him."

Dietrich said she did not know whether any of the friends or roommates had been able to provide clues to Welsh's whereabouts.

Welsh, a senior majoring in professional writing, is scheduled to graduate in December, Dietrich said.

Several calls were made on Welsh's cell phone on April 15 and April 18, police said.

The last known cell phone call was made by Welsh on April 15 from Manhattan, according to police. But at least one subsequent call was made on April 18 by John Dennis Koppinger, who is said by relatives to be a homeless man in Manhattan. Koppinger left a voice message with one of his relatives, saying that he had found the cell phone, police said.

Last night, police in Maryland and New York were trying to find Koppinger as well as Welsh.

Welsh's family members could not be reached yesterday.

Patrick Welsh is described as 6 feet tall, 160 pounds, with brown eyes, shoulder-length hair and a scar on his right leg.

Anyone with information about his disappearance is asked to call Maryland State Police at 410-386-3000.

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