Lawrence PD believe body found is that of missing KU student

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Lawrence Police believe the body found near 9th and Avalon is that of missing University of Kansas student Gianfranco Villagomez.

Villagomez was reported missing Saturday morning.

On Monday morning detectives spoke to Villagomez's girlfriend and roommates and walked away with an evidence bag from his residence on the 1100 block of New York Street. 

Friends said he worked at the University of Kansas library Friday afternoon. After work, he stopped by his residence.

They add that he later went to his girlfriend, Donna Jo Harkrider's house located at 11th and Mississippi to change clothes. Afterward he went to dinner at El Mezcal II on Iowa street and a small party.

According to his friends, he didn't appear intoxicated when he left.

Villagomez was last seen around 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning at 9th and Michigan streets walking toward Harkrider's house. He was wearing jeans and a beige jacket.

It was supposed to a half a mile 15-minute walk, but he never made it home.

Harkrider reported him missing to Lawrence police on Saturday night.

Friends were extremely worried about him. 

"We're concerned that somebody has hurt him," Sarah Alig, one of his roommates said. "Knowing him and his personality, there's not any conclusion that we can come to that he's not here because he doesn't want to be here."  

Alig and Villagomez's friends organized a search party on Sunday.

"We really called in the forces and got everybody to do a big search. We split up into a grid and took teams and fairly had it organized, people came out, we started getting media attention, the police have been very very [sic] helpful," she said.

On social media, "Help Find Gianfranco Villagomez,"  a Facebook page for Villagomez, was created. As of midday Monday more than 1,500 people liked the page.

His father and brother, who live in Peru, planned to fly in to help with future search efforts.

If you have any information about the incident, please call police at 785-843-TIPS (8477) or Lawrence Police Department at (785) 830-7400.

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