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Nancy Salas may have deceived family

22-year-old Glendale High grad was not enrolled at UCLA, officials say

May 13, 2010|By Jason Wells and Melanie Hicken

Glendale police say a 22-year-old woman who went missing Wednesday during a morning jog appears to have deceived her family about attending UCLA for more than a year.

UCLA officials this morning said Nancy Salas hadn’t been enrolled as a student since fall 2008, prompting authorities to expand their search for information beyond family members.

“There has certainly been some deception here,” Glendale police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said. “What we’re trying to do is lock down this information.”

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Despite assertions from students that they had been attending classes with Salas, UCLA spokesman Phil Hampton said campus officials had checked multiple records that showed she was no longer enrolled.

“We double checked it,” he said.

The confusion has taken hold in the fast-breaking story of the Salas — a 2005 Glendale High School graduate — who was reported missing Wednesday morning after she left for her run at about 6:30 a.m., police said.

Her disappearance is being treated as suspicious after police discovered she had left her keys, phone and car at her house. The search was expanded today to include her cell phone records and personal computer.

An overnight ground search of nearby canyons was called off at 1:30 a.m. after bloodhounds and a helicopter failed to pick up any sign of her, police said.

About a dozen volunteers were gathered outside the family’s apartment Thursday as they organized an expanded canvassing operation.

Organizers said about 120 churches had been brought into the fold as they set up a network of canvassing areas outside of the Glendale region.

Salas was described as a “key leader” of the Chevy Chase Baptist Church, and was active several Christian groups at UCLA, friends said.

“We’re moving forward with hope and trembling in this,” said Oscar Garcia-Johnson, regional minister for the Associated Baptist Churches-Los Angeles.

Former classmates who had come to the residence to pick up fliers said she was very active on campus and was well-known among several student groups, like Campus Crusade for Christ.

“She was well-loved, I mean, is well-loved,” said Keo Booker, who attended sociology classes with Salas last year. “I can’t talk like, ‘was,’ because I have to believe that she’s alive.”

Salas is described as being 5 feet tall, 115 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Police said she was wearing a yellow jacket, dark pants, white T-shirt and white sneakers when she was last seen.


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