Desperate Indian American family searching for teen missing since Dec 13; last seen on Golden Gate Bridge

Ritu Jha-

A 16-year-old Indian American higher schooler has been missing since Tuesday, December 13 evening after he visited the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

California Highway Patrol officer told indica that the search for the boy is ongoing, but he has not been found yet. “The search started yesterday, after a splash was reported in the water. At present there is no safety net installed at the Golden Gate Bridge, it is being built,” the officer said.

Ashish Kelkar, the father of the boy, a resident of Sunnyvale,
California told indica that the teen’s bicycle and helmet were found on Golden Gate Bridge and he was seen hiking on the Golden gate bridge, then someone heard a splash in the water and called 911.

“There is a strong suspicion that he may have jumped off the bridge but we are praying that we find him,” he said. “We have filed a missing complaint.”

He was last seen wearing a long-sleeved T-shirt and black pants. Friends, co-workers all are searching and urging people to help in searching Shreyas Kelkar. “We are looking for people with specialized equipment like boats, sonar, planes, submersibles, diving/scuba gear to help. And reach out if they see something on beaches or ocean call
408.475.1920,” a family friend said.

According to Kelkar, his son, Shreyas must have taken the Caltrain and got off Kings Street, and then gone to Golden Gate bridge.

Shreyas is a senior at Homestead High School. “I have got his belongings and have gone through his backpack but I haven’t tried to open his cell phone yet,” said Ashish.

“Shreyas is fond of maths and is interested in studying applied mathematics. He is the elder of my two sons.” Kelkar said Shreyas seemed to be quiet for the past three-four months “but we thought it was a teenage issue. But there was no other sign to think of, he was also done with his college applications.”

Kelkar’s apprehensions about his son’s intentions are not
unfounded. Since it opened in 1937, more than 1,800 people have plunged to their deaths from the iconic bridge, the most from any bridge in the United States, according to bridge officials.

Over the years, families of victims and psychiatrists working with the non-profit Bridge Rail Foundation have advocated for lifesaving modifications to be made to the bridge.

In August 2022, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District approved an $824,000 project to construct a rescue training net at the Southern Marin Fire District facility in Mill Valley.

The safety net is scheduled to be completed in November 2023. In 2021, 223 people came to the bridge to try to hurt themselves, according to Mulligan. Of those, 198 were stopped and 25 people jumped. In 2020, numbers were similar, with 213 coming to the bridge, 185 being stopped, and 28 who jumped.

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