Bangladeshi autistic athlete goes missing in Chicago

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

Rezwanul HaqueUS police are searching different areas of Chicago city for missing Rezwanul Haque, a member of Bangladesh Special Olympics team, who has autism, reports Chicago Sun-Times.

According to the Chicago-based newspaper, Rezwanul, 22, was last seen in hotel surveillance footage getting into the SUV about 5:00pm Thursday in the 100 block of East Delaware Place, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. Haque left the hotel voluntary, and there was no evidence of foul play.

The make and model of the SUV were not immediately known, but it was believed to be white in colour. The surveillance footage was not being released to the public.

Rezwanul was supposed to meet a group on Friday but never showed up, Guglielmi said. Group members went looking for him and contacted the police after several hours of unsuccessful searching, read the Chicago Sun-Times report published on 22 July.

Special Olympics International officials said they were working with authorities in the search.

“We have learned an athlete from the Bangladeshi Unified Cup soccer team is missing,” the organisation said in a statement. “We’re deeply concerned as our foremost priority is the well-being and safety of our athletes.”

Razwanul has autism and does not speak English, according to a police alert. He travelled to Chicago to participate in the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics, which started Friday.

Monir Choudhury, honorary consul of Bangladesh in Illinois, said he was “working with other members of the embassy and community organisers to give the team all the help they need to find him.”

Given his special needs, Rezwanul’s photo “was sent to every district to get as many people to see him as possible,” Guglielmi said, the report added.

Haque is described as a 5-foot-8, 160-pound Asian man with brown eyes, black hair and a medium complexion, police said. He was last seen wearing a blue hat with “USA” on the front, a blue collared shirt with “Bangladesh” written in red letters on the back, black pants and white gym shoes. He also had a light-grey and red backpack.

Rezwanul won a gold medal in badminton at the 2015 games in Los Angeles as a shuttler in the men’s singles event for Bangladesh, according to the team’s website.

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