Heikki Rantakari, a 44-year-old professor at the University of Rochester, is believed to be in danger as he failed to appear for his scheduled class on Saturday, according to the Rochester police.
Rantakari was last seen on Friday night, and his disappearance was reported after he did not arrive to teach his class on the university campus on Saturday morning. Police have initiated an investigation into his whereabouts.
Rantakari had checked into an Airbnb, situated within walking distance of the university, upon arriving in Rochester from Boston on Friday night. The Rochester Police stated that they found evidence confirming his presence at the Airbnb.
“We did find evidence that he was there, so we do know he did check into his Airbnb on Friday,” explained Rochester Police Capt. Greg Bello. “Now it’s a matter of what happened from there, and that’s what we’re trying to track down.”
Family members in Boston are concerned about Rantakari’s well-being. It is unusual for him to miss his classes, and his absence has raised concerns.
“Obviously, it’s concerning that he flew here for a specific meeting, to teach a specific class or multiple classes, and has not shown up for them — which is what we’re told is far outside his norm,” said Capt. Bello.
The Rochester Police have called for public assistance in locating Rantakari, emphasizing the urgency of the situation. They urge anyone with information regarding his whereabouts to call 911.
“We need that public assistance,” Capt. Bello stressed. “We need that help getting the message out so that we can confirm he’s OK. Because at this point we do believe he may be in danger.”
Heikki Rantakari holds the position of associate professor of economics and management at the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School, where he has been employed since 2015. The university issued a statement urging the public to report any information related to Professor Rantakari’s whereabouts by contacting 911 and expressed hope for his safe return.