Missing IIT Student's Family ‘Very Worried'

Collen Missing Since Saturday

Family members of a missing Illinois Institute of Technology student said Thursday that they were "very worried" about him.

According to WBBM-AM's Web site, Benjamin Collen, 19, was last seen near 31st Street and South Lake Shore Drive on Saturday, said a Wentworth Area Special Victim Unit detective. Authorities said Collen nodded to an acquaintance Saturday morning and hasn't been seen since.

Collen, of Lincolnwood, was not on any known medication and was not behaving irregularly before he went missing, detectives told the Web site.

Collen, who was actively involved in IIT's Reserve Officers' Training Corps, has never gone missing before, detectives said. Collen's mother told police her son was last seen wearing blue jeans, a black leather jacket, brown shoes and a dark T-shirt, WBBM-AM's Web site said. However, Collen's acquaintance who saw him on Saturday said he was not wearing a jacket -- only the dark T-shirt and jeans when the two exchanged nods.

Detectives said they thought it was strange that Collen was not wearing a jacket, considering the cold weather. Collen's parents said they understood he liked to come to the 31st Street beach and often walked along the pier, which juts out far into Lake Michigan. Collen's fellow ROTC students searched the vicinity of 31st Street and South Lake Shore Drive on Tuesday, but found no signs of Collen.

Collen is described as a white man with hazel eyes and brown hair. He lives in a student housing area near 32nd Street and Wabash Avenue, police told the Web site. Collen's mother told WBBM-AM that there was some indication her son may have been depressed. His cell phone and computer were still in his dorm room, but they refused to believe the worst.

Anyone with information was asked to call Wentworth Area detectives at 312-747-8385.

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