- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 14, 2005

RICHMOND (AP) — The mother of a college student missing for nine days said her daughter was not likely “to run off” and appealed for the teenager’s return.

“No matter where she is or what she’s doing, we need to hear from her and know that she’s OK,” Janet Pelasara said yesterday on NBC’s “Today” show.

Virginia Commonwealth University freshman Taylor Behl, 17, was reported missing Sept. 7, two days after she left her room on the crowded urban campus of approximately 30,000 students.

“I can’t imagine that she would meet someone at that time of night and just go out without her purse, without her clothes. She’s just not the type to run off. … None of it makes sense,” Mrs. Pelasara said.

Taylor left her room at about 10:30 p.m. Labor Day wearing jeans and a black hooded sweater.

Police reported no activity on Taylor’s cell phone, and her mother said she had no credit cards, contrary to previous reports. Her white 1997 Ford Escort also is missing.

University authorities have issued a national alert and called in assistance from the Richmond Police Department and the FBI.

“We are going to continue to look at every possibility in order to return her safely,” VCU Police Chief Willie Fuller said yesterday on “Today.”

Asked if she had any idea what happened to her daughter, Mrs. Pelasara said: “I don’t know what happened to her. I know she just wouldn’t leave on her own. There has to be someone else involved because maybe she had $40 on her, she didn’t have a credit card.”

Taylor spent Labor Day weekend with her family at her home in Vienna, Va., before she drove back to VCU on Sept. 5. Posters featuring the smiling brunette have been posted around campus.

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