Senegal's 'best student' goes missing in Paris

This handout photograph taken in Dakar on August 7, 2020 and obtained by AFP from the Senegalese Presidency on January 12, 2021, shows Senegal’s best student, Diary Sow, who has not been seen since January 4, 2021.© AFP PHOTO / SENEGALESE PRESIDENCY

Michael Fitzpatrick | Agencies

French authorities have launched a missing persons probe after a prize-winning Senegalese student and novelist, Diary Sow, went missing in Paris over a week ago. Her disappearance has caused alarm in both countries.

The 20-year-old Paris-based student has not been seen since 4 January. Sow won an a

ward for being Senegal's best student in 2018 and 2019 and also published a novel in France last year, entitled The Face of an Angel.

After the Christmas holidays, she failed to show up at the prestigious Louis-le-Grand high school in Paris where she has been studying for the past two years.

"She is a very punctual student, very serious. We raised the alarm quickly. No one saw her and we did not find her in her apartment," said Henry Sarr, member of a Senegalese students group that issued appeals on social media to locate her.

The Senegalese consul in Paris reported her missing on 7 January and the consulate has put her picture and details on its website.

According to a source close to the case, investigators were keeping all hypotheses open, including the possibility that she ran away.

French prosecutors said a probe had been opened into her disappearance and handed to the missing persons unit.

"Neither her parents, her friends, her tutor nor the ambassador have any news," said a member of the Senegalese community in Paris, Daouda Mbaye, who handed out flyers in Paris to draw attention to the case.

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