Fears grow for missing Edinburgh student Yulia

Police say there is no reason to believe physics undergraduate Yulia Solodyankina has left the country. Picture: Contributed
Police say there is no reason to believe physics undergraduate Yulia Solodyankina has left the country. Picture: Contributed
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POLICE investigating the disappearance of student Yulia Solodyankina have revealed she has not used her bank cards, passport or accessed social networking sites since she went missing more than two weeks ago.

Officers are probing a number of possible sightings of the Russian student in Edinburgh, Stirling and Perth since her disappearance 16 days ago.

But they have been unable to trace the 22-year-old’s movements since she vanished.

While police say there is no reason to suspect foul play, officers have told of their increased concern for the Edinburgh University physics undergraduate.

Her details have now been added to national charity website Missing People to take the campaign to find her UK-wide.

Ms Solodyankina’s father, Dmitry, led the campaign to find his only child when he visited last week, while her mother is understood to have arrived in Scotland on Thursday.

Her boyfriend, Antoine Dao, 21, a third-year engineering student at the university, yesterday told The Scotsman that he was desperate for his girlfriend of six months to get in touch.

He said: “Yulia, please give us a sign of life. I am still in the dark and my concerns are growing more and more as each day goes by. It’s hard to express how I’m feeling about this as I have no idea of the story behind it. I’m trying to do what I can.”

He added: “She last sent me a Facebook at 2pm the following day [after she was last seen] but it was just standard chit-chat.”

Chief Inspector Mark Patterson, who is heading the inquiry, said Police Scotland had received information from members of the public, but there had been no confirmed sightings.

He said: “There has been a huge amount of public support, and lots of potential sightings we need to look into. All have been within the Central Belt, so we’re looking at the Edinburgh, Stirling, Perth area. There is absolutely no reason to believe she has left the country. There is no information to give specific concern, but our concern is growing with the passing of time.”

Mr Patterson, who said police were keeping track of her bank accounts and passport, as well as other traceable sources, including Facebook, said: “We have no information that would allow us to accurately say where she is.

“We are not aware of any contact she has had with her friends or family, so there is a whole raft of inquiries right now. Her friends have done a huge amount of work online, so we feel indebted to them for maintaining a high profile.”

Referring to the last sightings of Ms Solodyankina, Mr Patterson said: “There is nothing to suggest her mood would give us cause for concern. No worries have been expressed by any of her friends.”

A huge internet campaign on Facebook is being supported by thousands of people, and friends have planned an event to raise awareness tomorrow afternoon.

Let’s Dance for Yulia, which starts at 3pm on The Mound, will feature her own dance group, Anansi, with whom Ms Solodyankina last performed the night before she went missing.

Her face and details are also set to feature on 13,000 disposable coffee cups.

The popular student was described as “tired, but happy” when she was last seen leaving The Wee Red Bar at Edinburgh College of Art just after 9pm on Thursday 6 June.

Friends first noticed something was amiss when she did not turn up to perform at Musselburgh Children’s Gala Day on Saturday.