Eloi Vasquez, a promising freshman college soccer player at the University of California at Berkeley, went missing on Saturday in Los Angeles after attending a fraternity party at the University of Southern California. Now, police are seeking the public's help to find out what happened to the popular young athlete, who dreamed of playing professional soccer.
The mystery began at about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times, when Vasquez told friends at a party hosted by the Los Angeles branch of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity that he wanted to leave the gathering temporarily, to take a walk.
But he never returned to the party and his friends and family — as well as police, who are now looking for Eloi Vasquez — have no idea where he might have gone.
There was some discrepancy in the accounts of when Vasquez was last heard from. Media reports in Los Angeles gave the approximate 1:30 a.m. time when he departed the frat party. But a statement by the U.C. Berkeley athletics department said that the student-athlete "was last heard from at approximately 2:15 a.m. that same morning."
"Eloi is a wonderful young man who has excelled both academically and athletically here at Cal," the department said in a statement. "Our entire Cal Athletics family is very concerned for Eloi's safety and our first priority is to help in any way we can to locate him."
The 19-year-old was recruited by the school out of Marin Academy in Northern California, to play soccer for the school's NCAA Division I program.
"In middle school, I began to play for the soccer club Marin FC and played with them for four years. I play for De Anza Force Academy now," Vasquez told his high school newspaper last year. "I've wanted to play professional soccer ever since I was a little boy."
When Vasquez left the party, in the 600 block of West 28th Street in Los Angeles, an area south of Downtown Los Angeles and home to USC.
Police describe Vasquez as Hispanic with black hair and brown eyes. His height is six feet and his weight is roughly 175 pounds. When he left the party, he wore a white t-shirt with grey pants and white sneakers.
When he went missing, he was not believed to have any money or identification on his person. Individuals who may have information about where Eloi Vasquez might be are asked by police to call 877-LAPD-24-7.
[Images: U.C. Berkeley Athletics Dept., Los Angeles Police Department]