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MIT Student Remains Missing, Search Still Shows No Progress

By Jenny Zhang


Almost five weeks after Daniel S. Mun ’05 disappeared, there is still no indication of his whereabouts, said Arthur L. Jones, director of the MIT News Office.

Mun, a resident of the Chi Phi fraternity, has been missing since the early morning of Dec. 4, a day before a heavy snowstorm hit the Boston area.

“Everything is ongoing and the police are doing their work,” Jones said. He said that the MIT police are spearheading the search, which includes periodically checking the river and its banks, area hospitals, and any places Mun frequented.

Senior Associate Dean Robert M. Randolph said that he thinks the checks will be done weekly.

“We’ll have to make some decision [about the ongoing investigation] at the end of IAP if nothing has come up” by that time, Jones said.

“We have been in touch with Daniel’s parents on a regular basis, two times a week,” Jones said. He said that Mun’s Visa credit card and passport are being monitored, but that no new information has emerged.

Mun’s father, Andrew (Kyung) Mun, said that he visited MIT in mid-December to talk with the MIT police and Dean Randolph.

Mun said that during his visit, he met with MIT police and “discussed a lot of possible scenarios,” but that he has no idea what happened.

John E. Driscoll, deputy chief of the MIT police, referred questions about the investigation to Jones.

No evidence of foul play exists

Jones said that there is no evidence indicating that foul play was involved in Mun’s disappearance.

“We talked to his family and the fraternity, and there is no reason to believe that foul play is involved,” Randolph said. “We don’t think he was kidnapped.”

When asked about his comment in a Dec. 17 Boston Globe article that Mun could have done harm to himself, Randolph said that Mun had “left some indication in writing that he could have harmed himself.” He said that it was not clear what Mun might have done, and that he would not discuss the matter in more detail for privacy reasons.

Lowery D. Duvall ’05, the Chi Phi president, said that Mun, who was also known as Dong, had been behaving normally before his disappearance and did not appear to be depressed. “There is no information. We almost fear for the worst,” he said.

Postering may begin soon

Duvall said that about a week after Mun’s disappearance, the fraternity brought up the idea of putting up posters with information about Mun.

At that time, he said, they were told that it might be premature. “The police thought that it might not be the best time,” he said. Duvall said that postering could begin soon.

A Massachusetts state police officer stationed in Boston said that Mun’s information has been entered into the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Crime Information Center system. “All the known information is put there,” he said.

According to the FBI Web site, the NCIC system is a collection of national databases that include information about wanted criminals, missing persons, and stolen property. “If [Mun] shows up in California and the police put his name into the system, they can trace that he’s missing and suggest that he give someone a call,” the officer said.

Students cope with disappearance

Randolph said that MIT Medical has visited Chi Phi to help students deal with Mun’s disappearance, and that counselors have been made available to them.

“We’re trying to use all the resources we have” to help the students, he said.

“Students are going through a rough time, trying to think positively and keep a daily routine,” said David N. Rogers, assistant dean and director of fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups.

Duvall said that at Chi Phi, “things are better than they were before we left” for winter break and that people appeared to be in better spirits.

A candlelight vigil was held at the fraternity on Dec. 15. “That went well,” Duvall said. “About 120 people were in attendance, and it lasted about 40 minutes.”