20-year-old Diary Sow, considered by many teachers to be the single best student in Senegal until she moved to Paris in 2019, has been missing since January 4th.

Now a second year student at the elite Louis Le Grand school in Paris, she had become well known in her home country after winning first place, two years in a row, in Senegal’s most competitive exams. A prodigy with demonstrated natural abilities in math and science, Sow went missing after she checked out of her dorm, in Paris’ thirteenth arrondissement.

Sow obtained a science baccalaureate at the Lycée d'excellence, in Diourbel, Senegal

Previously, she had traveled to Toulouse, in southwest France, for a New Year’s break where she went to visit her best friend, a medical student. She returned to Paris on New Year’s Day. Initially, her teachers suspected that she might have run away, but then officials, in both France and Senegal, got concerned after her friends started speculating on her whereabouts on social media.

Dairy Sow has been honored in Senegal, for her academic achievements

The Paris police department, fearing a heartbreaking conclusion to a week-long search effort, are now asking for the public’s help in finding the charismatic student, who is also a published novelist. Her family back in Senegal is distraught about the situation, because Sow had never run away from home, or shown signs of strange behavior.

Diary Sow's debut novel, Under the Face of an Angel, was published by l'Harmattan

Jeune Afrique Magazine was able to interview Amadou Diallo, Senegal’s Consul General in Paris. “As far as I know, she hasn’t been seen since January 1st,” he revealed, “and no one has spoken to her on the phone since January 2nd.” Senegalese president Macky Sall has now asked the country’s diplomats to follow all possible leads so that Sow can be found.

Prayer groups have been organized all over Senegal, including in Malicounda, the village near Dakar where Sow grew up