Police Looking For Missing UMass Lowell Freshman

By Peg Rusconi, WBZ-TV

LOWELL (CBS) – A local college freshman is missing and his parents fear something terrible has happened to him.

Brett DeBiase was last seen on Feb. 15, and posters are now going up all over the UMass-Lowell campus.

Police said there’s no evidence of foul play, but they are concerned about his welfare.

On a college campus, students come and go as they please, without always checking in. But, UMass Lowell police chief Randy Brashears said it’s unusual for a student to be out of touch for this long.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports.

“He’s not attended class, he’s not contacted his parents. We’ve been in contact with them. We’ve made up fliers. We’ve sent out an e-mail. We’ve just not had any sighting of him,” said Chief Brashears.

DeBiase, a freshman, was a resident of Bourgeois Hall on the East campus. Students there said DeBiase got into trouble for a fight.

“Two weeks ago, I’m gonna say, there was a little incident. He got arrested. Ever since then, he just disappeared pretty much,” said Nick Fagundes, a student.

University officials couldn’t comment on his arrest due to privacy rules concerning students’ records.

Some students said they haven’t been worried about DeBiase, but said the fliers raise their level of concern.

“Definitely makes it serious. All over campus, I see his picture around,” said Jake Buckley, a student.

“It’s scary. A couple weeks ago, I saw him walking in and out of the building, and now I don’t know where he went,” says Freshman Vernon West, who lives in the same dorm.

“I’m concerned about him. He’s a fellow classmate,” says another freshman Lucas Douglas. “It was kind of strange to see him missing, because we don’t get many missing people around here, especially on campus.”

The 18-year-old DeBiase is 6-foot-4 with a thin build, brown hair and blue eyes.

Police said they want to hear from DeBiase because his parents are concerned, not because he’s in trouble.

Anyone with information is asked to contact UMass Lowell Police at (978) 934-2398.

WBZ-TV’s Peg Rusconi and Christina Hager contributed to this report.


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