Univ. Amsterdam student was pregnant when she disappeared; Police fear the worst

The police offered a reward of 15 thousand euros for information that leads to missing Sumanta Bansi. The 23-year-old University of Amsterdam student disappeared in February last year. The police fear that she fell victim to a crime. She was pregnant at the time of her disappearance, the police revealed on Opsporing Verzocht on Tuesday.

Sumanta grew up in Wageningen in Suriname. In 2016 she came to the Netherlands to study biometric sciences at the University of Amsterdam. At the time of her disappearance, she was living in Hoorn with a couple she was friends with. In addition to her studies, she also had an internship at dentist practice Astina Dental in The Hague in Gouda. She also regularly visited a Hindu temple in Amsterdam Zuidoost. 

In the summer of 2017 Sumanta got pregnant unexpectedly. This caused some tension and after speaking with the traditional Hindu-Surinamese couple she lived with, the young woman decided to get an abortion, according to the police. The abortion affected Sumanta greatly, but she went on with her life. A few months later, Sumanta became pregnant again. This time she was delighted with the pregnancy and determined to keep the baby.

When she suddenly disappeared in February 2018, Sumanta was nine weeks pregnant. Police investigation revealed that Sumanta's phone was last active at around 9:45 p.m. on Sunday, February 18th. Since then there's been no activity on her phone, WhatsApp and social media channels. Her public transit card hasn't been used and no money left her bank account. 

The young woman was first reported missing to the police at the end of November, a police spokesperson said to Het Parool. The police were called by a priest from Rotterdam. Sumanta's family had contacted him because they hadn't heard from her since February. 

"We know that student friends found it weird that she no longer came to school", the police spokesperson said to the newspaper. Despite this neither, the university nor fellow students contacted the police when Sumanta disappeared. "That is remarkable, but not punishable", the spokesperson said. The University of Amsterdam refused to answer the newspaper's questions on this matter, referring it to the police. 

Astina Dental also did not report Sumanta's disappearance to the police. The practice was troubled when she stopped showing up to work, but wrote it off because they thought her inconsistent. "We called and messaged her, but she did not respond", an assistant at the practice said to Het Parool. "We  thought that she didn't want to work here anymore. She was often late."

The young woman stopped visiting the Hindu temple in Amsterdam Zuidoost a few months before her disappearance, employee Behari Behari said to the newspaper. "The last time she came to the temple was in 2017. That's why we didn't notice her disappearance." According to Behari, Sumanta came to pray in the temple about once a month. "We didn't know her personally and also did not have her contact details."

The police are trying to figure out what happened to this young woman. There are no indications that she went abroad and suicide seems unlikely as she was delighted by her pregnancy, according to the police. The police want to talk to as many people who knew Sumanta as possible to map out exactly what was going on in her life before she disappeared. If Sumanta and her baby are still alive, the child will be around 9 months old now. If anyone thinks they saw her, please make contact with the investigators, the police said.

If Sumanta died in some way, her body must be somewhere. The police searched part of the Robbenoordbos in Noord-Holland, where bodies were found in the past, but found no trace of the young woman. The police call on hikers and other forest visitors to contact them if they saw anything out of the ordinary in the forest, especially in the period after 18 February 2018.

Sumanta Bansi
Sumanta BansiPhoto: Politie