Police are searching for a young woman who mysteriously disappeared near Cal State San Bernardino on Monday, where authorities say two women have been attacked in recent weeks.
San Bernardino police say Sahray Astina Barber, 22, has not been seen since 6 a.m. Monday when she left her apartment across the street from the campus in the 1500 block of West Northpark Boulevard to go to work at a local art institute.
Police said her laptop and phone were found in bushes not far from a parking lot near her home. A bloodhound brought in to track her scent followed it from the area around the bushes to the parking lot, where the trail went cold, said police Lt. Rich Lawhead.
There weren’t any signs of a struggle, and the phone and laptop were intact — as if they’d been set down, Lawhead said.
The case has taken on a higher profile than typical missing-persons cases because twice in the last two weeks women have been attacked at Cal State San Bernardino. On Sunday, a man approached a woman from behind, put his hand over her mouth and said, “Come on, let’s go for a ride in my car,” before she fought him off.
Last week, a woman fought off an attempted sexual assault in the school library. No arrest has been made in either case.
Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said in a video posted online Tuesday night that detectives were looking into any potential links to the incidents but so far hadn’t found any.
“Rest assured, we immediately looked to see if there was any potential connection in our investigation,” Burguan said. “However, at this point, we are not able to connect the on-campus incident to our investigation.
“We have not ruled out the possibility the cases could be connected, but as is the case in law enforcement, you go where the evidence takes you. And thus far, the information available for our detectives … doesn’t have any known connection to the university or the reported assaults.”
Barber’s family told police the disappearance was “very uncharacteristic of her.” They said they believed she was capable of taking care of herself and had taken martial arts classes in the past.
Barber is 5 feet, 8 inches tall, 125 pounds and has long, straight reddish-brown hair and green eyes.
Anyone with information about Barber’s whereabouts is urged to call Det. Dan Han at (909) 384-5623 or the Police Department’s Investigations Bureau at (909) 384-5615.
For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.