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Authorities Search For Missing NCCU Assistant Professor

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DURHAM, N.C. — Durham authorities are asking for the public's help with finding a missing North Carolina Central University professor.

Seong Hee Oak, 36 -- an assistant professor who has taught business classes on hospitality and the tourism industry for the past two years -- was last seen leaving the university at 10 a.m. on Jan. 21, and has missed every class since then.

Oak is described as being an Asian female standing 5 feet tall and weighing about 110 pounds. She owns a silver 2005 four-door Toyota Camry with North Carolina license plate



Colleagues describe her as being hardworking and reliable.

"I am very much concerned about where she is and what the problem is," said N.C. Central University professor Dr. Youngil Cho.

Investigators said Oak's mother in Korea recently spoke to her daughter, and she said her daughter was upset over something that had happened at Hanmaum Korean Baptist Church, where she is a member.

"She was kind of concerned or upset about what the pastor was preaching about," said Capt. V.O. Ingram, of the North Carolina Central University Campus Police. "I think she identified with whatever he was talking about, and I think she thought he was talking about her."

Police have searched Oak's apartment in Durham, where they found bags that were packed near the doorway.

Investigators say no one from the church seems to have any answers about Oak's whereabouts and neither does anyone else who knows her.

Police have entered Oak's name into a national database for missing persons, and her bother, Junghyun Oak, traveled from Korea to help find her.

"She is a really strong woman," he said. "My family has hope she will come back soon and safely."

Anyone with information about Oak's whereabouts or her vehicle, is asked to contact Durham CrimeStoppers at

(919) 683-1200

or Capt. V.O. Ingram with North Carolina Central University at

(919) 530-6106



Julia Lewis, Reporter
Don Ingle, Photographer
Kelly Gardner, Web Editor

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