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February 26, 2007

Purdue police conduct interviews on student's disappearance during DNA blitz

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue police were able to interview more than 600 people about the disappearance of Purdue student Wade Steffey during a one-day DNA sample collection Sunday (Feb. 25) at the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds.

County law enforcement officials collected DNA samples from hundreds of people recently convicted of felonies. A new state law requires all people convicted of felonies since July 1, 2005, to submit DNA samples. Felons were required to attend regardless of the type of felony or whether they served jail or prison time for their crimes.

Purdue police questioned people about the last time they were on campus, if they were aware of Wade Steffey's disappearance and if they had any information on the case or knew anyone who might.

"We saw this DNA blitz as a chance to talk to a large number of people who might be able to provide information or new leads in this case," said Purdue Police Capt. John Cox. "We are still are receiving and pursuing leads in the case, and we are asking the public to submit any information they might have."

Steffey, a 19-year-old freshman from Bloomington, Ind., has been missing since Jan. 13. A National Merit Scholar majoring in aviation technology, Steffey was reported missing on Jan. 16 when his roommate returned to campus after the Martin Luther King holiday break.

Steffey was last seen wearing a white long-sleeved shirt with light blue stripes and light-colored jeans. He is white with short brown hair and brown eyes, is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds.

Writer: Kim Medaris, (765) 494-6998, kmedaris@purdue.edu

Source: Capt. John Cox, (765) 494-8221

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

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