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Archive for Wednesday, April 4, 2001

S STORY ENDS HAPPILY, BUT MYSTERIES REMAIN

April 4, 2001

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www.ljworld.com/section/crime_fire

A Kansas University student missing for nearly two weeks was found Tuesday morning but is having trouble remembering what happened to her, authorities said.

Cayce Thomasson, 21, is "still trying to recall the events of the past few days," said Lawrence Police Sgt. Mike Pattrick. Detectives interviewed Thomasson on Tuesday after she was found shortly before noon at a pay telephone near Clinton Lake.

The third-year architecture student called her mother from a public telephone at a convenience store near Clinton Lake State Park. She told her mother where she was, and another person at their Leawood home used another phone to simultaneously call Lawrence Police, Pattrick said.

A Douglas County Sheriff's deputy was dispatched to the area, where Thomasson was found. She appeared to be uninjured, but as a precaution was taken by ambulance to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Pattrick said.

Hospital officials wouldn't release any information about Thomasson's condition Tuesday afternoon.

The details surrounding Thomasson's disappearance 13 days ago remained a mystery Tuesday, Pattrick said. Investigators weren't clear where Thomasson had been since she last spoke to a friend on the telephone March 21.

"Apparently, she spent at least last night in the woods," said Jennifer Pool, a lifelong friend of Thomasson and also a KU junior. "The only thing she remembers is waking up in the woods. She met someone and asked them where a telephone was and then she called home."

Pattrick wouldn't say whether detectives were investigating Thomasson's disappearance as an abduction, noting only that police continued to look at all possibilities.

Pool said she was among a few friends and family members Tuesday afternoon who saw Thomasson at LMH. Thomasson, who was given an intravenous transfusion of fluids, was in good spirits despite her inability to remember the past few days, Pool said.

"To her, she's only been gone a day," Pool said. "She was in much better shape than the rest of us. She was joking around a little and had to tell me to stop crying. She knows what we've been doing and what we've been going through."

Pool on Tuesday removed fliers with Thomasson's picture from stores along Massachusetts Street, and said she was moved when a customer in an ice cream store looked at her strangely.

"He looked at me and asked why I was taking it down," said Pool, who explained to the concerned man that Thomasson had been located. "He squeezed my hand and said, 'You just made my day.'"

-- Staff writer Kevin Bates can be reached at 832-7187.

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