15-year-old boy from India vanishes while visiting US

June 30, 2011 7:34:43 PM PDT
A high school student from India vanished while visiting California with an educational tour group. He's 15 years old, speaks limited English, and he's now been missing for a week.

Police say there's no sign of him yet and they're running out of ideas. His tour group is now in San Francisco, but a week ago, they were in Los Angeles and that's where he was last seen.

Thursday, Los Angeles police went public with the case for the first time and faced criticism for not telling the media sooner.

When asked why they waited a week before reporting this case, Los Angeles Police Lt. Darnell Davenport said, "The investigation was ongoing and we were following through on certain leads, but none of them had panned out to be things that leads that would lead us to locating him." And when asked if someone would want to keep this quiet for any reason, the officer said, "Not at all."

L.A. police say they finally decided to tell the public, after their investigation hit a dead end. They're hoping someone has seen or heard from 15-year-old Lovedeep Singh, who was last spotted on June 23rd taking pictures outside his tour group's Los Angeles hotel. That tour group is now in San Francisco, where police are interviewing them with the help of interpreters from the Indian consulate.

Police do not know if he ran away, but police also don't believe he was kidnapped. Singh, who's 5'8" and 130 lbs. with a slim build, was last seen wearing a gray shirt, tan pants, and carrying a red backpack. Police say he has droopy eyes and wears a diamond stud earring in his right ear.

He was one of about 35 students from two different Indian schools who were traveling together for a 10-day tour of California, with the last three days to be spent in San Francisco.

Although the tour group had a packed itinerary for San Francisco, including the California Academy of Sciences, and a host of other tourist destinations, they spent all afternoon stuck on a bus outside the Indian Consulate.

One or two at a time, police escorted each student and teacher off the tour bus for individual interviews inside the consulate building with Los Angeles detectives who flew here to meet them. So far, police say they've learned Singh speaks limited English and had a substantial amount of money in his pocket.

And though other details are vague, Davenport said, "There is no indication that there is any foul play whatsoever in this particular case."

ABC7 spoke to some of the chaperones from the tour group, but none of them wanted to be interviewed on camera. Police say they are concerned that Singh might have arranged to be picked up by someone he met over the Internet.

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