Missing U of I Student Found, Reunited With Family, Police Say

Hye Min "Joseph" Choi went through airport security last Saturday but apparently never made it on his plane to North Carolina

A University of Illinois student who vanished after going through security at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport last Saturday has been found and reunited with his family, police said in a media alert early Thursday morning.

Authorities did not say how or where Hye Min "Joseph" Choi was found.

"He is with me. He is OK," Choi's mother, Juheekim Choi, told NBC Chicago by phone.

The mother said police contacted her earlier in the morning and reunited her with her son within an hour. Juheekim Choi said she is trying to make her son comfortable and give him "a lot of love."

The 19-year-old was scheduled to fly home to North Carolina over the weekend after finishing his first year on campus. His family said his bags arrived in North Carolina but there was no sign of the teen.

Juheekim Choi said the last time anyone heard from Joseph Choi was at about 4:50 p.m. Saturday when he called his father and said that he was very hungry at the airport. His father advised him to get something to eat, but it's unclear what happened from that point on.

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said earlier this week that his detectives believed Choi ran away after "apparently having some problems in school."

Juheekim Choi said the family intends to drive back to North Carolina.

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