Charges Possible After 'Missing' Student Turns Up
There may also be restitution demanded for Sahray Barber's $30K-plus search
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2015 12:45 PM CDT
This undated file photo from the San Bernardino, Calif., Police Department via "The Sun" shows Sahray Barber, 22, who went missing on March 9, 2015. Barber was found safe in Southern California.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of the San Bernardino Police Department via The Sun, San Bernardino)

(Newser) – Sahray Barber, a California art student who turned up 10 days after she went missing, issued a statement through the San Bernardino Police Department begging forgiveness from her family and "the amazing men, women, dogs, and horses" who searched for her, calling her disappearance "incredibly dumb." But police now say they're pressing charges against those who hinted Barber was dead, the San Bernardino Sun reports. "We spent a considerable amount of money in overtime [more than $30,000] and resources to work on this case, and I think the public deserves an explanation to understand why we did what we did," Chief Jarrod Burguan says in a video. Burguan accuses Barber's roommates of not being forthcoming, per KABC, and says Barber didn't come forward even after seeing the news about the frantic search for her.

A string of recent attacks at the Cal State campus gave Barber's case a sense of urgency. "This was creating a public relations nightmare for the university [and] it had local residents on edge," Burguan said, per the Sun. In her statement, Barber speaks of being bombarded with stress: "I was scared and it felt like the whole world was pressing down on me. Things got so bad that I didn't know what to say or HOW to ask for help." She admits she holed up in LA for more than a week and mostly stayed at two different hospitals under a fake name. It was only at the second facility that she met someone "like God’s messenger," who talked her into calling her dad.