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Police Search for Missing USC Grad Student

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is searching for a missing graduate student of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Missing Persons Unit is searching for a 23-year-old USC graduate student who is pursuing a master's degree in Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Elgin Stafford, 23. (Courtesy Los Angeles Sherriff's Department)
Elgin Stafford, 23. (Courtesy Los Angeles Sherriff's Department)

The police description indicates that the student, Elgin Stafford, is 5'10" and 145 pounds. He has a tattoo on his right shoulder of a Bonsai tree and a birthmark near his left thumb.

Stafford was last seen leaving his home in the city of Carson at 5:30 a.m. on March 20, wearing a dark jacket, multi-colored pair of pants, and a black shirt. He is not known to have any medical or psychiatric disorders, but recently exhibited erratic behavior, according to police.

Stafford is an alum of UC Berkeley and a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. His father, Michael, described his son as "stressed out," in an interview with CBS2. He added that his son had an internship last summer for U.S. Representative Karen Bass. The family is very concerned about him and requests the public's assistance.

Anyone with information about Elgin Stafford's whereabouts, or that can assist in locating him, should contact the Los Angeles Country Sheriff's Department Missing Person Detail at (323) 890-5500.


Do not let this be another Mitrice Richardson

Elgin Stafford is a 23-year-old Black male who has been missing since Tuesday March 20, 2012 from Carson, California

The LASD has chosen to list this young man as a VOLUNTARY MISSING ADULT despite the fact that he ran out of his parents home at 5:30am without any shoes, money, phone or identification and he was described to the LASD as acting erratically. After less than a five minute conversation with his family I learned that he had a history of taking psychiatric medications and that the family had sought out behavioral health treatment for him. The LASD flyer states that he has no mental health history because the LASD chose not to ask follow up questions about what the family meant when they described his behavior as erratic. The LASD did not ask details about his mental health history because they chose not to recognize behaviors that could indicate a mental health problem. Families cannot be expected to be experts on how missing persons cases are classified. The bottom line is it was easier for the LASD to classify this young man as Voluntarily Missing as opposed to a CRITICALLY MISSING ADULT because it makes their job easier. Let's bring this young man home safe.

Elgin - if you're reading this....come home! You can email me and I'll come get you....I'm praying for your safety!

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