Missing Student Found in Strangest Place -- But He's Alive!

This Just In 8

shaft NYU student foundThank. Goodness. A missing New York University student has been found! He was found in the oddest place, but still, 19-year-old Asher Vongtau is safe and sound after rescue workers broke through a wall to free him from a two-foot shaft near his dorm where he'd been trapped for two days!

Talk about an empty nester's worst nightmare!

As if sending a kid off to college weren't agonizing enough for most parents. But to have your kid end up as a missing person? That's pretty much what every parent fears.

The good news in all of this -- beyond the fact that Asher was found, conscious and moaning in the shaft between the 5-story parking garage and a 17-story NYU dormitory (seen above in an FDNY photograph) -- is that another student found it strange that Asher wasn't responding to texts, and he did something about it. He alerted security, who alerted the cops, who found the missing student.

It sounds easy to call security. But it's not. It took some guts to do that. Here he is just a kid himself, and how did he know what his friend was up to? He could have been off doing something that he didn't want people to know about.

Every day we as people see things happening that we wash our hands of -- the mom at the grocery store with the screaming kid who gets an eyeroll instead of a "hey, can I help?"; the strange man ranting in the subway who we go out of our way to avoid instead of checking to see what he's going on about. It's easier not to get involved, easier to just deal with our own day-to-day issues.

But easy isn't necessarily right.

That global village everyone talks about being here to raise kids should extend beyond mere children. It should be about everyone -- adults too. We should all care about our fellow man enough to put ourselves out there, even if it's taking five seconds to say, "Huh, why ISN'T he returning my texts? Does he need my help?" instead of huffing and puffing that so-and-so is such a jerk for not responding to a darn text message.

Just look at this NYU student -- a little caring, a little less selfishness, saved his life.

It took the FDNY more than an hour to free Asher, and they had to actually go through a wall to do it, but he's in a hospital. He's safe. There's a happy ending to this story.

All because someone thought about someone else first.

When is the last time you put yourself out there for another human being who wasn't in your direct family? What happened?


Image via FDNY

missing person


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mande... manderspanders

Um, he isn't a "kid".  They are adults in college.  It is the adult thing to do to alert authorities when something is amiss with someone you know.



Guts to do what he did? There are 5yos who would have done something if they saw something wrong going on. Your examples don't fit this story,and I will keep avoiding the guy talking to himself.

nonmember avatar akatrixy

@ manders Im assuming you dont have older children? Because my daughters are 25 and 21 and Im just now as a mother feeling they are actually adults. Im sorry but at 18-19 yes they are still kids. As far as the rest of the article, I fully agree that we as humans need to start caring more and the people who have commented so far are prime examples to why

Margaret Seda

why waste the time on the article if you're not gonna mention why he was there in the first place?

Taisie Taisie

The article the author linked to says this about how he ended up in that space :

"It's not clear how Vongtau became trapped there, officials said, though it was possible he had fallen out of a window or from the roof of one of the buildings."

But, the author could have stated that no one knows yet how he ended up there. I frequently find to get "the rest of the story" here on the stir, you do have to click on the external links and read the original article that the author pulled their info from.

hopea... hopealways4019

Today i was sitting in my bedroom, my 5 yr old daughter alerted me to come to the shut window she was looking out. I first i ignored her, but she kept on insisting i come to the window. I finally did... Low and behold the neighbor boys was standing up in a 3 story opened window. Spraying window cleaner out. I opened my window, shouted too them to immediately step back futher in, and close window. Thank goodness they did. I then went over to tell their mom. My oldest son said i should have mind my own business. A very inhumane thing for him to say. If i had said nothing? And that boy from that window, and seriously got hurt or died? I would have felt horrible. The right thing to do, you see someone in danger, help anyway you can.

adopt... adoption2013

How the heck did he get in there?

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