New immigrant goes missing on first day of school, spends night in vacant house

posted on January 8, 2015

By CTV News | Link to Article

By CTV News | Link to Article

A teen who immigrated to Canada from Ethiopia just last month had a terrible first day of school in the Winnipeg area this week, becoming badly lost trying to find her way home and spending the night in a vacant house.

Seventeen-year-old Beth Zeleke Eliso decided to walk home during her lunch hour Monday, but quickly lost her way. Rather than seek help, she wandered the streets for hours, trying to find the way back to school and looking for anything familiar.

“In my mind, I knew my house. Where is my house? And so I think: I can go back,” Eliso explained to CTV Winnipeg in broken English.
By the afternoon, after her family called to report her missing, police began a huge search, issuing a news release seeking the public’s help in finding the girl, and canvassing the neighbourhood for clues.

With temperatures in Winnipeg hitting -30 degrees Celsius with the wind chill, Eliso found a vacant, unlocked house and went inside to sleep through the night on the floor.

Police meanwhile found a clue in surveillance footage from a local lock service business just a few blocks from the school. It showed Eliso wandering past the store, bundled up against the cold but appearing confused.

Trevor Dawson, who manages the lock service, says he allowed police to set up a search base in his store because he, too, was worried for the teen.

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