Missing Columbia student’s family pleads for help in search

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NEW YORK (PIX11) –– Nearly a week after their 29-year-old loved one disappeared, the family of a missing Columbia University dental student pleaded for help finding Jiwon Lee.

Lee, who lives in the Upper West Side, last made contact with her family on April 1 about 8:30 p.m. Police tracked her last cellphone ping to a tower on 179th Street near the George Washington Bridge.

Now, her family is in a desperate search for her safe return.

“We’re not giving up hope yet,” said Matthew Lee, the missing woman’s sister. “Please, if you’re out there listening to this, don’t give up hope. We believe we can find my sister.”

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Lee’s brother said his family is hopeful his sister is safe because she has not shown up on surveillance footage from the bridge and after three days of searching the Hudson River, crews have not found a body.

An online fundraiser has been set up by Lee’s family in the hopes of speeding up the search for the fourth-year dental student.

“The NYPD has been hugely helpful, but understandably have many responsibilites (sic) to attend to. We would like to pursue hiring a private detective at this time in order to expedite and prioritize the search process,” according to a GoFundMe page.

Any money left over will be used as a reward for information leading to Lee’s safe return, according to the page. To donate, click here.

Jiwon Lee is 29 years old, about 5 feet 2 inches tall, and 120 pounds with black hair and dark eyes.

Anyone with information in the case is urged to call CRIME STOPPERS at 1-800-577-TIPS.