April 21, 2011

Police ask for public's help in locating student

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Department of Public Safety is asking for the public's help in locating an SIUC student who has not been heard from since Monday, April 18.

Police do not suspect foul play as they attempt to locate Michael C. Wiechmann, 18, who lives in Steagall Hall at Thompson Point. Anyone with information should contact the Department of Public Safety at 618/453-3771 or via email at info@dps.siu.edu .

Public Safety Director Todd D. Sigler said Michael’s parents, Debra and Steve Wiechmann of Sleepy Hollow, contacted the department Wednesday night. They indicated their son sent them a handwritten letter from Anna, postmarked April 18, in which he said school is not for him. The letter did not contain any indication of suicidal intent, his parents told police.

Sigler said Michael emptied out his bank accounts and rented or purchased camping equipment. Conversations with Michael’s roommate indicated they shared an interest in rock climbing and wilderness camping, and that prior to spring break, Michael was researching areas of the Mark Twain National Forest and survival techniques in the wild on his computer.

Michael left his computer, cell phone and residence hall room keys in the room, and he is believed to be riding his blue mountain bike. He is 5-feet, 9-inches tall, weighing 135 pounds, with wavy redish-brown hair and brown eyes.

Sigler also said Michael’s parents indicated they visited their son in March on campus and had no concerns about his behavior. There also are no indications that Michael uses drugs or alcohol, based on police interview with other Steagall Hall residents.