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Mother of missing Columbia University student Nayla Kidd speaks out

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MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, Manhattan — The search continues for missing Columbia University student Nayla Kidd, 19, who has not been heard from in more than a week.

“It’s heart-wrenching,” said Nayla’s worried mother, La Creis Kidd, who came in from the family’s home in Louisville, Kentucky, to help with the search.

While police have said Nayla was last seen on campus on May 5 around 5 p.m., the teen’s mom said she was last spotted with friends leaving a Columbia dorm around 9:30 p.m. on  May 4.

Nayla, who is on a full scholarship, is a sophomore in Columbia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, and has missed all her finals.

“Someone who’s just so bright, so creative, just talented beyond measure—at the age of 15 she built a super computer, she’s published in scientific journals—for her to just drop the ball, I just feel something happened,” said La Creis Kidd.

The NYPD, Columbia’s Public Safety Department, and the family’s private investigator, Neal Gossett, are working together to locate the popular and outgoing student.

“Any missing person’s case has its own special set of conditions.  You’ve got to reverse engineer things because you don’t know when the last thing happened,” said Gossett, of Absolute Private Special Investigations, Inc.

Gossett said leads are coming in constantly, including a suggestion that Nayla’s bank account had been compromised.

Fliers have been distributed in the area, and Columbia sent out an email alert to students.

“I’ve seen her on campus.  It was really shocking to see she was missing.  I’m really concerned.  I hope she’s okay,”  said Columbia University student Eric Dyer.

Nayla Kidd is described as thin, 5-foot-9, 120 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.

If you have any information on her whereabouts, or know something that may help find her, you’re asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.