Red shoe is missing ASU student's; lake search called off - WNEM TV 5

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Red shoe is missing ASU student's; lake search called off

Posted: Updated:
Jack Culolias Jack Culolias
TEMPE, AZ (CBS5) -

Tempe police on Friday said that a red shoe found near Tempe Town Lake contains DNA that matches that of a missing Arizona State University student.

Police said they were notified by the Department of Public Safety Crime Lab that it had confirmed Jack Colulias' DNA in the shoe found by his mother.

Culolias, 19, has not been seen by friends or family since he left Cadillac Ranch Tempe Marketplace about 11 p.m. Nov. 30, ASU police spokesman Jim Hardina said.

The search for Culolias in the Salt River Basin in and around Tempe Town Lake was called off about 4:30 p.m. Friday, but the search elsewhere and investigation into Colulias' disappearance would continue, according to Michael Pooley of the Tempe Police Department.

Investigators said they would wait for a credible tip before resuming the search in that area again.

His family told CBS 5 News that Culolias left his credit card and cell phone behind. [Click here for "Bring Jack Home" web page.]

Tempe police said they got a phone call Thursday night from a concerned resident who claimed seeing an object, resembling a person's silhouette, in the water northeast of the area that investigators had searched for three days.

Tempe police, along with ASU police and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, are expanding the search area north of Tempe Marketplace.

His mother, Grace Culolias, called ASU police Sunday about 5 p.m. to ask officers to conduct a welfare check, since she had not spoken to her son and was concerned.

On Monday, she called Tempe police and said she and her other sons were flying to Arizona from their home in California to help in the search. On Tuesday, the missing person investigation begun by ASU police transitioned to Tempe police. ASU detectives originally assigned are continuing to work in conjunction with Tempe police detectives.

About 2 p.m. Tuesday, family members found a red shoe at an embankment along the Rio Salado River/Tempe Town Lake, which runs north of the Tempe Marketplace. The missing teen's mother said she recognized it immediately. Tempe police said DNA on the shoe is still being processed.

"I saw the shoe and I immediately picked it up. I was shocked," Grace Culolias said.

Jack Culolias is described as 6' tall and has brown eyes and brown hair. His friends said they have been conducting search parties every night and hanging posters to raise awareness. Hardina said the teen's mother was worried about possible hazing because Jack Culolias was pledging to a fraternity.

A statement released Wednesday night by the Sigma Alpha Epsilon headquarters said Jack Culolias had been attending a chapter social event at Cadillac Ranch. The statement went on to say, "Sigma Alpha Epsilon offers its prayers and support for Culolias' family, friends and chapter brothers and hopes and prays for his safe return."

A page has also been set up to collect donations for Jack Culolias' family while they're away from their home and close to the investigation. To donate, click here.

Anyone with information is requested to please call Tempe police at 480-350-8311 or submit a tip on their website by clicking here.

Stay with cbs5az.com for updates on this developing story.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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