Man Found Living at O'Hare for Months Cited COVID Fears

Police say Aditya Singh stayed at the airport undetected from Oct. 19 through Saturday
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2021 5:56 AM CST
Updated Jan 23, 2021 11:58 AM CST
Man Said He Lived at O'Hare for Months Due to COVID Fears
Singh was taken into custody near Gate F12 on Saturday.   (Getty Images)

O'Hare International Airport employees called 911 on Saturday after asking a man for his ID and discovering the airport badge he presented had been reported missing months earlier. Then the story got much, much weirder. Authorities say that man, 36-year-old Aditya Singh, had been living in a secured area of the airport since October. A court on Sunday heard the California man arrived in Chicago on a flight from Los Angeles on Oct. 19 and had been in the airport since. Police say he claimed he was "scared to go home due to COVID," with the Chicago Tribune reporting police said he claimed he didn't want to fly due to those COVID fears. A prosecutor told Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz that Singh had been eating food given to him by other fliers, and that the badge he had was that of an airport operations manager who reported it missing on Oct. 26.

As for Singh's background, he lives with roommates outside LA and has his master’s degree in hospitality though he is unemployed; it is unclear why he was in Chicago. Ortiz seemed gobsmacked by the allegations: "You’re telling me that an unauthorized, nonemployee individual was allegedly living within a secure part of the O’Hare airport terminal from Oct. 19, 2020, to Jan. 16, 2021, and was not detected?" she said to the prosecutor. "I want to understand you correctly." Singh has been charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanor theft and has a Jan. 27 court date. Should he manage to post bail, he is prohibited from entering O'Hare. The Chicago Department of Aviation said this in a statement, per the Guardian: "While this incident remains under investigation, we have been able to determine that this gentleman did not pose a security risk to the airport or to the traveling public." (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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