Alum goes missing
Cara SantucciNews Editor
UPDATE: Tseggay’s family has confirmed they found him earlier this week. They are not offering any more details on Tseggay at this time.
Police looking for any info on ’15 graduate last seen Jan. 18 in Dallas
Family and friends are searching for a UTD alumnus who went missing earlier this month. According to a report released by Dallas police, Michael Tseggay, BS ’15, was last seen leaving his apartment on Pear Ridge Drive on Jan. 18 around 6 p.m.
His sister, Lisa Tseggay, said he had nothing on him when he left his apartment — his wallet, keys and phone were all left behind. His wife Caroline was at work when he disappeared.
Tseggay’s mom, Lemlem Giorgis, said Caroline came home to find only a note where her husband should have been.
“She goes to the bedroom and she finds a piece of paper,” Giorgis said. “That piece of paper says, ‘I love you, we’re having a good time. My parents love you just like their daughter, keep in touch with them. I left the key to the house.’”
That’s when Caroline called the police. Lisa said the whole experience has been difficult on the family.
“It’s been scary,” she said. “My mom, my dad and my sister-in-law, every day they’ve been searching for him, posting flyers everywhere. They’ve enlisted friends and family to help out as well.”
Giorgis, her husband and Caroline went looking for Tseggay that night in the dog park and wooded area behind his apartment complex. Although neither they nor the police found anything that night, the family continues to search for any sign of Tseggay.
“As a mother, I still want to search,” Giorgis said. “Even today, we had like about twenty, maybe thirty people. Everybody was going through the entire forest as far as you can go … and we couldn’t find anything.”
Divers even came up from Houston to scan the pond behind Tseggay’s residence for any clues. They found nothing.
In addition, Giorgis and her husband have been searching the city looking anywhere they think Tseggay could be.
“We are calling every hospital every single day — he’s not there. We tried to reach homeless shelters — some of them are not being cooperative. And we’re going to psychiatric hospitals,” she said. “It’s a big challenge.”
The family contacted Fox News, but encountered difficulty when trying to get the authorities to release their report to the public. Giorgis said the police did not see it as a life-threatening incident due to the note Tseggay left.
“If someone leaves you a note (and) he didn’t take no wallet, no money … took nothing, just the clothes on his body and left his key for his wife with the note … something is going on in his brain or something,” his mother said. “If this is not life-threatening, what is?”
Tseggay’s wife Caroline made a post on Facebook with all the relevant information. The post has been shared 1,500 times, Lisa said.
Lisa has had to process this from Houston, several hours away from where Michael and her parents live.
“(I’ve) been keeping really busy, which I think has been good for (me),” Lisa said. “After that first day he left, I just kind of stayed home and dealt with it, but then I would go to work … Then in the evenings, on Facebook, (I would) see what I can do, share different posts and I’d keep up with my family and my sister-in-law to see how everyone’s doing.”
Lisa said Tseggay has a reputation for relentless kindness and extreme intelligence.
“He’s probably the nicest guy anyone could ever meet,” she said. “Everyone liked him because he’s nice, but everyone was so impressed with him because he’s so smart and they just felt like he would do amazing things with his life.”
She said in his free time, he likes to watch movies, read comics, spend time with his dog and play basketball at the recreation center.
He currently works both as a medical assistant for an orthopedic surgeon and with a food delivery service. Lisa expressed that things seemed to be going well for Tseggay, even though she felt he was still trying to figure out what he wants to do as a career.
Lisa said she remembered him talking fondly about his time at UTD.
“He liked his classes and he liked his teachers and he had some friends through his classes,” she said. “He seemed to really like it there.”
Anyone who wants to help out with the search can join the Facebook group, called “FIND MICHAEL TSEGGAY,” and share the flyer posted with all the pertinent information.
“I think just going on Facebook, trying to spread the word — I think that would be the most important thing,” Lisa said. “The more people see this, then the more people are going to have their eyes out looking.”
Giorgis expressed how Tseggay had such a positive impact on the people around him. She remembered a parent-teacher conference back when he was still at Plano Senior High School and the compliment his teacher paid Giorgis’ son.
“There’s no one who doesn’t love Michael … His teacher told me, ‘You know what? I just had a son,’” Giorgis said. “And he told me, ‘I wish my son would grow up to be like Michael.’”