Search for missing Wesley student continues

DOVER – The search for a 21-year-old missing Wesley College student continued into a seventh day Monday, with police receiving several calls and messages with potential information on the case.

Erick Acevedo-Palencia was seen on surveillance video leaving the Malmberg Hall dormitory early last Tuesday night, but hadn’t been located as of 2 p.m. Monday, Dover Police spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman.

While police said there was no current indication that foul play was involved, officers were told that the missing student “made statements to others that are cause for concern for his health and safety.”

Detectives received the case shortly after police were initially notified Mr. Acevedo-Palencia was missing. A Gold Alert was issued and investigation continues.

“While we continue to pursue leads, we ask that anyone with information continues to provide that to us,” Cpl. Hoffman said.

Police have been working closely with Wesley College since the investigation began last week. An attempt to reach the school for comment Monday was not immediately successful.

Mr. Acevedo-Palencia was seen leaving the dorm at approximately 6:21 p.m. and headed towards the nearby intersection of Division and Bradford streets, authorities said. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, black athletic-type pants with a white stripe and white sneakers.

Police said Mr. Acevedo-Valencia is approximately 6-foot-2, 175 pounds.

Cpl. Hoffman said typical protocols are being used in the investigation.

“A variety of investigative techniques and tools have been used,” he said. “We cannot elaborate on specifics at this time.”

Anyone with information can call 736-7111, private message via social media, or through Delaware Crime Stoppers at 800-TIP-3333 or online at

Police said missing persons cases are usually resolved relatively quickly and “it is uncommon that they last for a long period of time.

“In 2018, the department handled 279 ‘Missing Person’ calls and in 2017, the department handled 277. 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, etc.”

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