Erick Acevedo-Palencia went missing Feb. 12 and has not been heard from since.
Dover police are continuing their investigation into the apparent disappearance of Erick Acevedo-Palencia.
The 21-year-old Wesley College student last was seen leaving the Malmberg Hall dormitory at 6:21 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12.
Surveillance footage showed Acevedo-Palencia leaving the building and walking toward the intersection of Division and Bradford streets.
During their initial investigation, police learned he recently had been making comments that caused others to worry about his health and safety, Dover Police Department spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman said.
The Gold Alert issued four days later served to notify agencies throughout the state. His information also has been entered into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database, Hoffman said. Law enforcement agencies throughout the country have access to the NCIC, he said.
People have been contacting Dover PD about the case, Hoffman said on Tuesday.
“The department has received several calls and messaged with potential information regarding this case,” he said. “While we continue to pursue leads, we ask that anyone with information continues to provide that to us.”
Hoffman declined to comment on the department’s interactions with Acevedo-Palencia’s family.
“We are following our usual protocols when it comes to this investigation,” Hoffman said. “The case was turned over to detectives shortly after the initial report was taken.
Hoffman also declined to discuss specifics about how detectives are going about their investigations.
Dover detectives have been working on the case with officials at Wesley College, he added.
A call to Wesley Communications Director Jessica Cook had not been returned as of Wednesday afternoon.
During the initial Gold Alert, Hoffman reported Acevedo-Palencia also has a home in Wilmington. A call to that city's police department’s public affairs officer revealed no new information; attempts to contact media officers at the New Castle County Police Department also have gone unanswered.
Hoffman emphasized that even a full month after Acevedo-Palencia’s disappearance, police have no indication he was the victim of foul play.
“At this time, there is no evidence to suggest this was anything other than a voluntary act,” he said.
However, it is uncommon for a person to be missing for this long a time, Hoffman said.
“Many of these calls are for voluntary runaways of minors and adults, people who escape medical or mental health facilities, juveniles who skip school or don’t return to a guardian,” he said.
When last seen, Acevedo-Palencia was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, black athletic-type pants with a white stripe and white sneakers.
He is about 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighs about 175 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.
So far, Dover police have issued five Gold Alerts in 2019, and all but Acevedo-Palencia’s case were resolved within a day or two.
The department handled 279 missing person complaints in 2018, Hoffman said.
Anyone with information on Acevedo-Palencia’s whereabouts is asked to call Dover police at 736-7130. Tips may be left anonymously.
Tips also may be submitted to law enforcement through Delaware Crime Stoppers at 800-TIP-3333 or online at delawarecrimestoppers.com.