Missing student recently rediscovered his religious beliefs, family says


The family of a 21-year-old college student who has been missing for nearly a month told police he had recently rediscovered his religious beliefs.

Officials are still trying to figure out what happened to 21-year-old William "Harry" Hempy, who was last heard from March 25 while home in Rochester for spring break.

Police are unsure if his rediscovered beliefs factor into his disappearance, but they are asking the public – especially those in religious organizations or faith-based charities – for any information that may help them locate the missing University of Illinois student, the Rochester Post Bulletin reports.

"We're hoping to find someone who may have helped him, talked to him, anything," Capt. John Sherwin told the newspaper. "We just don't know where he is."

Police said they have examined "all possibilities and circumstances," including exploring his "mind-set during the days, weeks and months leading up to his disappearance," the Star Tribune notes.

A 'strange' disappearance

Since the beginning police have called his disappearance "strange." Hempy hasn't been seen since he spoke with his father on the phone March 25 saying he was going out for a run, so he'd be home late for a planned event.

Phone records show that call was made about 3 miles from his family's home, the Star Tribune says. Then, his March 29 train ticket back to Illinois went unused, police said.

Police told The News-Gazette there is no sign of foul play, but there is indication he may have wanted to disappear. Analysis of his phone and computer don't indicate anything suspicious, police told the newspaper, but they're exploring all possibilities in the case.

Illinois police said earlier this month they aren't actively investigating the case, but are working with the Rochester Police Department, the Daily Illini reported.

Hempy, a computer science student at U of I, was set to graduate this spring.

He is described as 6 feet tall, 160 pounds with hazel eyes and short brown hair. He was last believed to be wearing a black jacket, jeans and light-colored Asics running shoes, KIMT says.

Anyone with information about Hempy is asked to call Rochester Police Investigator Anne Swenson at 507-328-6921.

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