SYOSSET, Long Island (PIX11) - The father of 22-year-old Jasmine Joseph wept in a local VFW Hall, as friends and family mobilized volunteers to hand out “missing” flyers, seeking information about his daughter’s disappearance on Monday, February 24th.
“Please come back,” Sony Joseph said through tears, “your papa and mom are waiting for you. We don’t ask you anything.”
Sony Joseph and his wife, Lovely, were stunned to learn from police that Jasmine, who was a nursing student, had not attended classes at the New York Institute of Technology since May 2013.
Jasmine had been living at home and telling her parents she was attending school all through the fall and winter. The parents’ American Express card was even charged $6,072 for the Fall 2013 semester.
“This time, we never see her report card, “ Jasmine’s mother said, “but last spring, the other semesters, she was a straight-A student. When her father asked to see the report card, she said there was something wrong with the computer.”
Lovely Joseph, a hospital nurse who works in cardiac care, had noticed her daughter wasn’t bringing home college text books. “She told me she was doing online reading,” Mrs. Joseph recounted to PIX 11.
Jasmine’s mother last spoke to her daughter on Monday, February 24th. The mother said she called Jasmine at 5:17 pm and that her daughter claimed to be in the library at the Old Westbury campus.
Jasmine never returned home, and her cell phone started going right to voicemail.
The parents decided to search the college campus very late that Monday night.
“First, we thought that someone had kidnapped her, because the college is dark at night. We went to all the parking lots.”
But there was no sign of Jasmine or her silver 2012 Nissan Altima. The license plate is GAD3453.
After the family notified police, investigators told them Jasmine had not been attending classes at NYIT since May 2013. The news stunned her parents.
“That’s not her character,” her mother said. “She always obeys.”
When PIX 11 asked Jasmine’s father, an electronics technician with the New York Transit Authority, if she was possibly upset about a boyfriend or a situation at home, he replied, “She doesn’t have a boyfriend.”
And when we asked if rules were strict at home, the Indian immigrant replied, “”No strict rules. She’s free always. No strict rules.”
The missing student’s extended family has started a Facebook page “Find Jasmine Joseph.” A $5,000 reward is being offered. Anyone with information can call (516) 573-7347 and ask for Detective Hayes.
Police determined that Jasmine was actually at Lifetime Fitness in Syosset when she spoke to her mother that Monday evening.
At this point, they don’t believe any criminality is involved in her disappearance.
“She’s a 22 year old adult not under parental control,” Inspector Kenneth Lack of the Nassau County Police Department said. “We’re really just trying to locate her to make sure she’s safe.”
But Jasmine’s father is not convinced she was not a victim of foul play. He said if his daughter is afraid to face her mom or dad, please contact another relative.
“All I want is for her to come back,” Sony Joseph wept.