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Searchers Hunt NY Woods for Any Sign of Missing College Student


"It's completely unlike her. She's a ballerina, a wonderful student..."

Authorities in upstate New York will continue their search Friday for a college student who went missing one week ago after returning home for Thanksgiving break.

The Onondaga County Sheriff's office paused the full-scale search and rescue operation Thursday but released a description of the clothing Jenni-Lyn Watson, 20, might have been wearing the last time she was seen: a tan sweatshirt, a pair of blue, green and white colored pajama pants with white socks.

Watson, a student at Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania, is described as a white female, 5'2" tall and 100 pounds. She has dirty blonde hair and brown eyes and usually carries a cellular phone with her. According to local news reports, police, firefighters and U.S. Marshals are using information obtained from her cell phone records to search a large wooded area just north of Syracuse.

"This is an area that has shown up on her cell phone records," Onondaga County Undersheriff Warren Darby told ABC News Syracuse affiliate WSYR. "We wanted to make sure her phone wasn't left here and if it was, we wanted to recover it because it may have some more information."

Neighbor Stacey Kinahan told WSYR that it was "very out of character" for Watson to be out of touch with her family. "It's completely unlike her. She's a ballerina, a wonderful student, keeps in touch with her family, loves her family. It's very out of character for her not to contact anybody," she said.

On Wednesday, members of the local community held a prayer vigil for Watson and her family.

Detectives are investigating reports of a dark-colored pickup truck that may have been in the area around Watson's home near Syracuse on Friday, Nov. 19 at the time of her disappearance.

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