Kent State student, mother goes missing; Ashtabula authorities continue search

Press release from Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office

Valerie Royzman

The last 11 days have felt dim and uncertain for the Kent State and Ashtabula communities—that’s when Rand Hilal Al Dulaimi, a biotechnology major at the Ashtabula campus, went missing.

The 23-year-old student’s family reported her disappearance July 11. According to a news release from the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office, she was last seen at 4506 Ninevah Road in Saybrook Township two days prior, at the home of estranged husband Jeffrey Stanley.

Coletta Carlisle, a friend who has known Al Dulaimi for about a year and a half, said she remains hopeful about the disappearance despite little news emerging through the week. If there’s anything people should know about Al Dulaimi, Carlisle said it’s how bright her presence is.

“She is hands down a radiant person,” she said. “She radiates happiness off of her and into other people. She is so strong.”

The Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday that Stanley, 28, was a person of interest in the case. He was arrested Saturday on a parole violation and remains at the Ashtabula County Jail. Al Dulaimi and Stanley have a young son, Omar, together, who is safe with children services.

Detectives with the sheriff’s office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol conducted an aerial search Wednesday afternoon. According to the Star Beacon, Ashtabula County federal investigators and authorities extended their search into Thursday, scouring the wooded area near Ninevah Road, though they have yet to confirm any evidence of Al Dulaimi’s whereabouts.

Eric Mansfield, the executive director of University Media Relations, said Al Dulaimi attended the Kent State Ashtabula campus this past spring and made the Dean’s List, and she was enrolled for classes this fall.

Susan Stocker, the dean and chief administrative officer at Kent State Ashtabula, offered a statement:

“The entire Kent State community remains hopeful that Rand can be located and returned to her family. We join the authorities in asking anyone with information to please contact the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s office immediately.”

Carlisle said she has met with other friends of Al Dulaimi, who are all deeply saddened by her vanishing. She said they do not have permission to organize a community-led search party at this time, “but the police are doing their job and we have faith in them.”

Carlisle created a Facebook page for Al Dulaimi, called Justice for Rand. Friends, family and strangers have offered an outpouring of support and prayers.

Anyone with information on Al Dulaimi’s whereabouts should contact the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office at 440-576-0055.

Valerie Royzman is the features editor. Contact her at [email protected].