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Anwesha Dey: Swept away during a spring storm

Anwesha Dey: Swept away during a spring storm

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Anwesha Dey left a friend’s house near 23rd and S streets, walking through the rain on a Sunday evening more than a year ago.

She never made it home.

The 30-year-old fell into Antelope Creek on her way to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and was swept away -- a fact known only because it was caught on video.

Dey could be seen struggling in the fast-moving, 3-foot-deep water in an attempt to gain her footing and get out.

But the current flowed too fast. And she didn’t know how to swim, her family would later tell investigators.

The camera faced Union Plaza, capturing video for a nearby insurance company.

Before she left on her walk on May 3, 2015, Dey was praying with a group practicing Buddhism, something she became excited about after moving to Nebraska from India for school. She left with a friend to shop at Wal-Mart. The two women bought groceries and Dey picked up a pair of black ballet flats from Payless.

An hour after being dropped off at home, Dey realized she had accidentally taken a bag of her friend's groceries. Dey planned to walk to campus anyway, so she stopped by the house on S Street and dropped off the bag.

She wouldn't be seen again.

Dey had left the house wearing an orange hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. A gray backpack was strapped to her shoulders. None of her clothing or belongings has been found.

Her parents, who live 8,000 miles away, told the Journal Star in July 2015 they didn't want to believe their daughter drowned, and they were praying for a miracle.

Dey was reported missing three days after she was swept away. The search didn’t turn to the creek until a week after that. Searchers went through the moving water all the way to the Platte River, and investigators searched the creek from a canoe. They looked through sinkholes and knee-deep mud; they used camera-equipped drones and cadaver dogs, but found no evidence of Dey.

From where Dey entered the water, Antelope Creek flows north for about a mile toward the Devaney Sports Center where it joins Salt Creek, which connects to the Platte River near Ashland. Eventually, it joins the Missouri River and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico.

Lincoln Police investigator Lacey Reha said officers are constantly watching the creek for signs of Dey. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7395 or nmanna@journalstar.com

On Twitter @LJSNicholeManna.

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