Disoriented, Starved Senior Emerges From Lindquist Center After Being Lost, Presumed Dead For Weeks
Iowa City residents can rest easier tonight after Jared Johanssen, the UI senior believed to have been dead for two weeks after getting lost in the Lindquist Center, was found crawling out of the building. Johanssen reportedly stumbled into the plaza below the building and melodramatically sank to his knees, arms skyward, before collapsing to the ground.
First responders flocked to the scene and rushed Johanssen to the hospital, severely malnourished after having spent weeks wandering the building in a desperate yet futile search for an exit.
Johanssen was first reported missing over the summer after he did not return home from an advising appointment in the Lindquist Center. His roommates contacted the Iowa City Police Department, which led to an ill-fated manhunt.
“As soon as I walked through the door, I immediately got all mixed-up, and when I turned around to leave the building, I found that I’d already somehow rounded three corners,” said lead investigator Dan Brouk. “That building’s floor plan is nothing short of witchcraft. It took me hours to get all our officers to safety. Well, almost all. We miss you, Barry, and we haven’t given up.”
One week after Johanssen’s disappearance, he was declared dead in absentia, with local police believing there to be no chance for his return. This decision prompted university officials to prepare to demolish the building, hoping to prevent future disappearances.
Director of Student Life Pete Nichols said that the building has been long overdue for a good swing of a wrecking ball, and that the presumed deaths of UI students is as good a reason as any.
The decision to demolish the building was scrapped after Johanssen’s escape, with Nichols saying “it’s nice to know that damn place is survivable after all.”
“When I heard that he’d found his way out of that death trap, I couldn’t believe it,” Brouk said. “I’m dying to meet the kid and ask him what it was like. What did he survive on? Is Barry okay? How did he find his way out through that senseless labyrinth? Where did he find the will to survive? He’s a lot tougher than I am, that’s for damn sure.”
Johanssen’s recovery brings the number of students lost in the Lindquist Center down to ten.
Johanssen has reached stable condition at Mercy Hospital and spoke for the first time yesterday, reporting that despite the weeks spent in the building, he had never actually found his advising appointment.