by: Brett Rosner Updated:
ATLANTA - The family of a missing Georgia State University college student is asking for the public's help in finding her.
Photos of 21-year-old Monique Priester were posted on Instagram, and fliers are circulating around the Georgia State campus in hopes of locating her.
Her mother told Channel 2's Nicole Carr that Priester left her stepfather’s home in Dacula around 1:30 p.m. Friday and headed downtown to GSU for a study group.
Hours later, the 21-year-old called an Uber to go back home.
Her last phone call with her mother was around 6:15 p.m. Her mother said Priester told her that she was using the Uber group ride option and was somewhere in the West End waiting for the last person to get on the ride.
Priester’s mother said she sounded normal over the phone Friday, with no hints of strife from a small argument she had with her stepfather on Thursday.
“I’m panicked. I’m hoping that she’s safe,” Priester’s mother, Jacqueline VanLoo-Al Kush, said.
Uber said it would have to be subpoenaed to give up ride records, and police say they have no reason to suspect foul play.
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Uber released a statement, saying: “We are working directly with local law enforcement to provide any assistance or information that could help them locate Ms. Priester and get her safely home.”
Family members don’t believe that Priester, who had only a backpack and laptop with her, just left home.
“Don’t be dismissive just because of her age. Look at the entire circumstance,” VanLoo-Al Kush said.
“That doesn’t sound like Mo. That doesn’t make any sense,” longtime friend Darren Howard said.
Students who are used to seeing Priester on campus said they are concerned.
“I’m pretty sure people have tried to call her. She wouldn’t answer anyone,” Queen Gadson said. “I’m sure she would have seen this all over the Internet. I’ve seen it all over the Internet.”
Friends and family said calls to Priester’s phone are going straight to voicemail.
Her mother said she detected bank activity on her daughter's account. She said there was an ATM withdrawal in Nashville that she asked Gwinnett police to look into.
Priester’s mother said her daughter suffers from depression and anxiety. She is asking anyone with information about her disappearance to contact her or authorities.
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