During moments like these, social media groups have often been a great resource and help for families
If you are a member of at least a couple Indian American expat groups on social media, chances are that you would have seen an alert about a 19-year-old Indian American youth Shaylan Shah missing from his New Jersey home since Saturday morning.
According to latest updates from the family, they havenâ€™t been able to get any leads on the whereabouts of the teenager so far. The authorities as well as the community are trying their best to locate Shaylan who goes by the name Shay.
According to reports both ground as well as aerial resources have been deployed in the search of the young man. His father Rich Shah is also using his social media to update and seek help from the public in case they may have any leads on his young son.
READ: 19-year-old Indian American youth from New Jersey missing (July 18, 2023)
Ever since Shayâ€™s disappearance, numerous expat and Indian American platforms on social media have been sharing his details, pictures and updates hoping for anyone from the public to recognize him and give any leads.
Shaylanâ€™s case is yet another example of how the Indian American community comes together in moments such as these to help each other or rally together for support.
There are about 2.7 million Indian Americans living in the United States currently. As the second largest immigrant group in America, Indians have been a close-knit community.
While there have been no figures on this, but anecdotally Indians are among the largest if not the largest group of immigrants to form various social media groups catered to various aspects of living in the United States.
During moments such as these, often these social media groups have been a great resource to disseminate information and have sometimes been instrumental in helping people going through difficult circumstances.
While the community has often gone above and beyond in helping spread the word particularly in cases where an Indian or an Indian American living in the US has gone missing, the onus of locating a missing person of course remains on the police and authorities.
Unfortunately, in the past there have been quite a few cases of young Indians reported missing in the US. Some of the recent cases include:
Lost and found: Tanvi Marupally
Earlier this year in January, a teenager from Conway, Arkansas, Tanvi Marupally went missing. Tanvi attended her Conway Junior High school on Jan 17 and was last seen outside it, but she did not return home that day.
She did not carry her cellphone with her on the day, leading the family to believe that she did not want to not return home. According to the police she did not take her school bus and instead started walking north towards the railroad tracks and continued walking through the night and into the next day.
The reason she may have chosen to go away from her home was because she heard that her family, may be deported back to India as her father was on an H-1B visa. In the past too Tanviâ€™s mother had to return to India due to visa issues.
Thankfully Tanviâ€™s story had a happy ending as she was found safe and healthy after two long months in far way Tampa, Florida. Before reaching Tampa by bus Tanvi spent two months in Kentucky.
Vanished and gone: Lahari Pathivada
In May this year, another intriguing case came up when 25-year-old Lahari Pathivada who was from Texas went missing. She was last seen driving a Toyota on her way to work in the suburb of McKinney, Texas.
The family got alarmed when Lahari did not return from her work on May 12. Police were alerted and while the search was on friends and family were able to trace her phone to Oklahoma.
Unfortunately, Lahariâ€™s story did not end well and she was found dead the next day 322 miles away from home.
Further details on Pathivadaâ€™s case could not emerge as some social media groups who were escalating the search for her by amplifying her missing incident reported that Lahariâ€™s family had requested privacy.