Police search waters for body of missing pregnant Univ. Amsterdam student
Police continued their search on Thursday for a missing University of Amsterdam student who disappeared when she was pregnant. Sumanta Bansi has not been seen since February 2018, and her disappearance was not reported to authorities until November of that year.
Last week police offered a 15 thousand euro reward for information leading to the 23-year-old woman’s whereabouts. Several tips were reported once police went public with the missing person report and the reward, according to AD.
Authorities on Thursday searched a stretch of water halfway across the Afsluitdijk, at Breezanddijk in Friesland. The search mission included two police boats, with officers using specialized camera and sonar equipment, a Hart van Nederland reporter said. A canine unit with a trained sniffer dog was also involved.
Op één boot zijn ze aan het zoeken met sonarapparatuur en een onderwatercamera, een tweede boot heeft een politie speurhond aan boord, die gespecialiseerd in het ruiken van een stoffelijk overschot #hvnl pic.twitter.com/96BDbAWgbW— Maike Senders (@MaikeHVNL) July 4, 2019
Bansi was born in Suriname and grew up in the village of Wageningen, along the northwestern coast of the South American country. She moved to the Netherlands three years ago for her university studies, eventually moving in with a host family in Hoorn.
Police said she was first expecting a baby in 2017, but was convinced by her traditional Hindu-Surinamese hosts to terminate the accidental pregnancy. She regretted the decision, and when she became pregnant again several months later she decided to keep the baby.
Though apparently happy with her life, she disappeared suddenly on February 18, 2018. Her phone was last used at 9:45 p.m. that night, and since then her phone, instant messaging apps, social media accounts, public transit card, and bank account all went dormant.
Nobody reported her disappearance to investigators for roughly nine months, including classmates, the University of Amsterdam faculty and staff, her family, the host family, and the Gouda dental practice where she worked. Finally, her family in Suriname asked a priest in Rotterdam last November to help track her down, and he then notified authorities.
Authorities previously searched the Robbenoordbos in Noord-Holland, but found no trace of her in the forest area.
De politie zoekt in het water langs de #Afsluitdijk bij #Breezanddijk naar het lichaam van de vermiste Sumanta Bansi. De Surinaamse (23) is al sinds februari 2018 verdwenen, maar de vermissing is pas een half jaar bekend bij de politie #hvnl #vermist #SumantaBansi pic.twitter.com/TIOGqW02tl— Maike Senders (@MaikeHVNL) July 4, 2019