“Emilee is part of our Hornet family.”
Courtesy photo of Irsik
Approximately 20 days ago – over Fall Break – Emilee Irsik, a 20-year-old junior German major, took a secret trip to Germany. No one – not her family, roommates, or even boyfriend – knew about her plans to travel overseas, and she has not been heard from since.
“I just feel weird that she didn’t tell anyone because usually when she’s excited about something, she tells people,” said Megan Nolan, sophomore secondary English education major and one of Emilee’s roommates in Morse Hall. Nolan is a former writer for The Bulletin.
Nolan said that all Irsik said was that she was “going home” over the break, which she assumed meant Irsik’s grandmother’s home in Wichita.
A Facebook group called “Emilee Irsik – Missing Person” was created for updates and information about Irsik’s disappearance. As of last night, the group has already accumulated over 9,000 members. The description on the group states that Irsik took a flight from American Airlines in Wichita to Dallas, Texas on Oct. 19. She then flew to London Heathrow Airport. Her flight from London to Hamburg was cancelled, and she was detoured on a flight to Vienna and then to Hamburg. She made both of these flights. A ticket was scheduled for her to return to Wichita Oct. 26, but she didn’t make the flight.
“As far as I have gotten to known her, I would say (going to Germany) was very out of character because she was supposed to go to Germany next semester,” said Roxanne Riegler, associate professor of German and French and director of the German and French programs. “She knew she was accepted to study abroad but didn’t know which school yet.”
Nolan said she didn’t think anything of Irsik not being back in their dormitory on the Sunday evening after Fall Break, Oct. 21, before classes resumed.
“We thought maybe she was just coming home Monday morning because she does that sometimes because she doesn’t have class until 11 (a.m.),” Nolan said.
On Monday evening, Oct. 22, Irsik still hadn’t returned – this is when her roommates began to “really freak out,” Nolan said. They contacted their Resident Assistant who then contacted campus police.
“The only thing that was strange that she did was about a week or two before Fall Break,” Nolan said. “She went and got a tattoo. It wasn’t a little tattoo, either. It was a big one, which was really out of character for her.”
On Oct. 15, Emilee Irsik got this tattoo of a blue finch sitting on a thistle branch. It is on the left side of her abdomen. Megan Nolan, one of Irisk’s roomates, said this was “out of character” for her.
Photo courtesy of the Facebook group “Emilee Irisk – Missing Person”
Riegler said that she was “shocked and concerned” when she heard about Irsik’s trip, and especially her disappearance. Family members and friends of Irsik’s have attempted contacting her through calls to her cell phone and messages on Facebook, but no response has been received.
“Emilee is part of our Hornet family, and we continue to hope and pray that she will reach out to her family and friends,” said Lynn Hobson, associate vice president of affairs.
Gwen Larson, assistant director of Media Relations, said, thus far, there is no information that Emilee is the victim of foul play, according to an article by The Kansas City Star.
The Irsik family has established a fund for Emilee and also created the ability to donate air miles through American Airlines. Donations for the fund can be given at any Bank of America via the Emilee J. Irsik Contribution Trust. Air miles can be donated by visiting Americanairlines.com and using the advantage account number of 28VUA40, the name “Jay Irsik” and the email address email@example.com.
A bus station in Bahrenfeld, Germany is the site of two possible sightings of Irsik on Nov. 1. The sightings, however, are unconfirmed, and the individuals are not even sure that it was indeed Irsik that they spotted. Also, according to the group, “access was gained” to Irsik’s Yahoo! email account, and no information relevant to her secret trip or her whereabouts was found.
“If anyone who knows Emilee believes they have any information that could be helpful, we would ask them to contact Emporia State Police and Safety, or contact Emilee’s family through their Facebook group,” Hobson said.
Irsik’s family was unavailable for comment.