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Missing University of Rochester professor may be in danger, police say

Heikki Rantakari has been missing for a week, and some reports state he may have fallen into a river.
Missing University of Rochester professor may be in danger, police say
Posted at 8:50 PM, Oct 27, 2023

It's been a week since a University of Rochester professor was reported missing, and authorities are still searching.

An initial post on X from the Rochester Police Department sought the public's help in finding 44-year-old Heikki Rantakari, who it believed "may be in danger."

The professor was last seen Friday after arriving in Rochester from Boston. Police say he checked into his AirBnB within walking distance to the University of Rochester that night, but he was reported missing Saturday morning after he didn't show up to teach a scheduled class there.

According to ABC13, investigators said Friday they had obtained video evidence showing Rantakari falling off a pedestrian bridge into the Genessee river early Saturday morning. A scuba team with the police department searched the river, but it didn't find the professor, the publication reported. It also said police indicated there was no evidence of foul play, as the team continued its search.

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Scripps News reached out to the Rochester Police Department for confirmation on these details but has not heard back as of Friday afternoon.

Rantakari began teaching economics and management at the University of Rochester in 2015. He took a partial leave of absence this semester to teach at MIT in Boston, where he's from, according to ABC13.

The university released a statement thanking police for their efforts in finding the teacher, saying they're "hopeful that he is found safe very soon."

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