The family of 19-year-old Sydney "Syd" West, a former Foothill High School student who went missing in San Francisco last fall, has offered a $10,000 reward for information that will lead to the teenager being reunited with her family.
The West family has announced the reward in an effort to bring their daughter, considered to be at-risk due to struggles with anxiety and depression, home after a several months-long absence.
"So, because it's almost four months now and we are desperate to have our daughter back, we are offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who is willing to locate and bring her home to us (or provide information that will do the same)," Syd's mother Kimberly West said in a video posted to the Facebook group "Find Sydney West."
A student at the University of California at Berkeley, Syd West was last seen near the Golden Gate Bridge in the area of Crissy Field during the early-morning hours on Sept. 30, according to her family.
Syd West is described as white, 5-foot-10-inches tall 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 and may or may not have been wearing corrective eye glasses.
The West family says that they have received some tips pointing to their daughter's whereabouts and, while some have proven to be false, Syd's father Jay said that some have given the family a sense of hope.
"The reality is we get tips all the time, some as recent as a few weeks ago. You know, somebody says that they saw Sydney near a food truck in San Francisco," Jay said. "Many of these tips have not panned out but we've been hopeful because not all of them we've been able to run them all the way down."
"That morning, when Sydney was on the bridge, there were a lot of people that were near her. I know this because I've viewed the video. So we just absolutely believe that somebody must know something," Jay added.
To help in the search, the family has hired private attorney Scott Dudek, who will be coordinating any distribution of the reward -- which is available for collection until April 1. Residents with information are encouraged to contact Dudek at 925-705-8328.
Residents can also contact the San Francisco Police Department at 415-575-4444, or text a tip to TIP411 (847411) with "SFPD" at the start of the text message.
Syd West returned to the Bay Area for college after her family moved from Pleasanton to North Carolina several years ago. Those with connections to the family in North Carolina can also contact their hometown sheriff's office at 919-245-2909.
In other news
* A driver died in Livermore when his car went off a freeway off-ramp and crashed into a tree at the Isabel Avenue/Highway 84 exit on the afternoon of Jan. 28.
The victim, identified as 54-year-old James Carter, a resident of Brighton, Colorado, was pronounced dead after being ejected from his car in the crash, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Tyler Hahn.
The situation unfolded around 2:20 p.m. Jan. 28 when a 2001 Pontiac car traveling
westbound on Interstate 580 lost control for unknown reasons at the Isabel Avenue off-ramp, Hahn said.
The car went off the roadway, drove through a chain-link fence and crashed into a tree. Carter, who was the only occupant, was thrown out of the vehicle after apparently not wearing his seatbelt, according to Hahn.
"No witnesses at this point, but speed and unsafe turning combined with no restraint is the apparent cause," Hahn told the Weekly. The crash occurred during wet conditions amid rain on Thursday.
The incident remains under investigation. Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or has other relevant details can contact CHP-Dublin at 925-828-0466.