Sydney West: Family of Berkeley student still 'baffled' by her mysterious disappearance in 2020

Sydney West: Family of Berkeley student still 'baffled' by her mysterious disappearance in 2020
Sydney West, a 19-year-old student from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, disappeared on September 30, 2020 (KRON/YouTube)

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA: Sydney West, a 19-year-old University of California, Berkeley student from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, disappeared from the Golden Gate Bridge on September 30, 2020. Although some have speculated about her disappearance, her family and a California private investigator remain baffled but optimistic three years later, after viewing video evidence of West on the bridge that morning.

Private investigator Scott Dudek noted that the bridge was crowded at 6:45 am, and West disappeared into the fog. Despite the attention the case has received, no witnesses have come forward. Dudek said the police have given up on the case, believing that West jumped off the bridge, according to Fox News.


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Video footage reveals Sydney West's last known location

West, who frequently strolled along the famous monument, was among the many people using the bridge that morning, according to Dudek. The private investigator also noted the presence of birdwatchers, photographers, and athletes who were participating in events in a park beneath the bridge. The video, which is private and is rarely seen by anyone but bridge officials, also reveals that there was fog and smoke from adjacent wildfires sweeping over the bridge, eventually obscuring any view of West's last known location.


'That's what continues to baffle us'

Sydney's mother, Kimberly West, said that she is still confused by the footage. She said, "There were a lot of people on the bridge that morning, so that's what continues to baffle us." Before relocating to North Carolina, the West family lived in California. Sydney had relocated for her first year at the University of California, Berkeley, but she had postponed until the fall 2021 semester and was lodging with family friends in the Bay Area in the interim due to a serious concussion sustained in a summer lake mishap in North Carolina and classes moving entirely online in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as per reports.

'At risk due to depression'

West said, "Before she went out there, she was having a really hard time with screen time. She wasn't supposed to be doing any screen time, but this was the fall of 2020, and classes were completely virtual. So, everything was on the computer … and she just said she couldn't do it." The 19-year-old had felt isolated and lonely after the switch to virtual classes that fall. In a 2020 press release, SFPD said West was "at risk due to depression," but her family believes there is more to the story, as reported by Finnoexpert.

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 Who is Sydney West? Family still 'baffled' by how Berkeley student simply vanished