Family and friends are joining together for a vigil in downtown on Thursday evening in a show of support for Pleasanton native Sydney "Syd" West and to continue momentum toward finding the 19-year-old woman who has been missing for three weeks.
Syd West, a former Foothill High School student who returned to the Bay Area for college after her family moved from Pleasanton to North Carolina several years ago, was last seen in San Francisco near the Golden Gate Bridge during the early-morning hours on Sept. 30. She is considered at-risk, according to authorities.
There were no new updates on her disappearance as of Monday afternoon, according to Sgt. Michael Andraychak of the San Francisco Police Department, the lead agency on the case.
"We are asking anyone who may have information about Sydney to please contact investigators. We love Sydney, we miss Sydney, and we want more than anything to have her found safe and brought back to our home," her father, Jay West, said in a video released in North Carolina earlier this month.
The West family held a vigil in their neighborhood in Chapel Hill, N.C., last week as part of their effort to keep attention on the case.
They are now organizing a similar gathering in their former hometown of Pleasanton on Thursday (Oct. 22), beginning at 6 p.m. in Lions Wayside Park on First Street. The event will be in person, with health and safety protocols in place, as well as broadcast in real time on Facebook Live.
"This vigil is intended to bring together the family's California-based community, celebrate their love for Sydney, and talk about the help needed to keep up the momentum to find Sydney. The family feels blessed with so many friends and family who share their desperation to find Syd," supporters said.
The "Vigil to Find Sydney West" is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. (Pacific time) with the initial gathering and music, with planned remarks to be delivered at 6:15 p.m. followed by an open mic.
Those who attend in person have been asked to wear a mask, have hand sanitizer, bring their own low chairs or blankets and maintain physical distance at all times. The family says people should stay home if they feel sick or are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
Syd West is described as white, standing 5-foot-10 and weighing 130-135 pounds, with blue eyes and light-brown hair (worn in a bun on the top of her head that morning). She was last seen on Sept. 30 wearing black leggings, a teal hoodie and her favorite old slip on Vans (dark green and black print). She may have been carrying a black backpack, according to investigators.
She last made contact with family and friends on Sept. 29, and was spotted near Crissy Field and the Golden Gate Bridge during the early-morning hours of Sept. 30, according to the Orange County (N.C.) Sheriff's Office which has been in contact with the SFPD.
Syd West is considered to be at-risk due to depression, according to the SFPD. A family member reported her missing on Oct. 2 after she had not been heard from for nearly three days.
She grew up in Pleasanton and attended Foothill High during her freshman and sophomore years before the family moved to North Carolina. Orange County Sheriff's officials said West had been living in the Bay Area since late August, stating that she was "until recently" a student at University of California at Berkeley and since had been residing with friends in San Francisco.
"Sydney, or Syd as she likes to be called, is a kind, caring young woman who has a way with younger children, especially her 10-year-old sister who she's adored since the day she was born and who misses her desperately," mother Kimberly West said in the video released Oct. 8.
The parents were sitting together in the living room holding a framed senior class portrait of Syd West during the 90-second video.
Jay West described his daughter Syd as a talented musician, athlete, artist and student who is very much missed.
"This is every parent's nightmare, and all we want is for our daughter Sydney to be found safe and brought home to our family," he said.
The case is being investigated by the missing persons section of the SFPD special victims unit.
Anyone with information on West's disappearance can contact SFPD at 415-575-4444, or text a tip to TIP411 (847411) with "SFPD" at the start of the text message. Those with connections to Syd West in North Carolina can also contact her hometown sheriff's office at 919-245-2909.
To follow updates on the case on social media, visit the Find Sydney West Facebook page, follow on Instagram at find_sydney_west or use the hashtag #FindSydneyWest.