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UWM freshman missing for more than 2 weeks: ‘It is still our hope that Sean will be found’

Sean Baek

Sean Baek

MILWAUKEE — Officials with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Friday, Feb. 28 issued another appeal for assistance locating Sean Baek, 18, two weeks after his disappearance on Valentine’s Day.

In their update Friday, UWM officials said police “conducted an exhaustive search, both physical and electronic, on campus and in the community,” but turned up no information that led to Baek. Officials said they continued to follow up on leads with help from the Milwaukee Police Department.

Meanwhile, officials said UWM police were in ongoing contact with Baek’s family amid the investigation. “As you can imagine, this is a difficult time for his family, and they have our utmost sympathy. It is still our hope that Sean will be found,” officials said in a news release Friday.

UWM officials again shared their initial report on Baek’s disappearance and asked that anyone with information contact UWM police 414-229-4627 or Milwaukee police at 414-935-7211.

Disappearance of Sean Baek

Baek, 18, disappeared in the early hours of Friday, Feb. 14.

Police said an investigation revealed Baek and another student were using LSD, and the other student had a bad reaction shortly before Baek ran out of the Cambridge Commons residence hall on Cambridge Avenue at 1:25 a.m. A witness saw someone running toward the riverbank near the residence hall at roughly that same time. Meanwhile, Baek sent a text to a family member at 1:20 a.m., stating: “I love you guys. I am sorry,” police revealed.

Police dispute social media posts

“Yes, our son made a horrible choice, but he did not go out and run into the river,” said Kristin Erickson, Baek’s mother. “I don’t believe that for one second. He had too much to live for to want to die.”

Erickson said the “I am sorry” text was sent to Baek’s father, and Erickson believes Baek was trying to explain that he screwed up, not that he was suicidal.

Sean Baek

Sean Baek

UWM police on Feb. 17 said they did not previously reveal information about the drug use because they did not want Baek or anyone else with information to fear getting into trouble. They said they wanted to share more “because we feel it is important that concerned members of the campus and wider community are not misled or diverted by rumors not supported by information gathered by police.”

“What his roommate told me, who was the third person with the group who was sober, was that he looked visibly scared that his friend had been harmed, or that there would be any kind of legal trouble,” said Matthew Mandli, who said he and Baek grew up together in McFarland and attended UWM together last semester.

According to police, the social media posts suggested Baek was abducted, and taken to the Chicago area. Baek’s mother shared on social media that she saw a psychic who told her this. Police noted, “It is important for the public and our campus community to understand that as of right now, the police have received no information from any witnesses to this effect.”

Sean Baek

Sean Baek

Description of Sean Baek

At the time of his disappearance, Baek was wearing a Milwaukee Bucks cap, a maroon, white, and dark-colored shirt, and white shoes. He stands 5’10” tall and weighs 160 pounds. He has Type 1 diabetes, is insulin-dependent, and needs medication regularly.

Again, anyone with information was asked to please contact police.

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