Search for missing Duquesne grad continues as family looks for new leads

Courtesy photo. Paul Kochu poses for a photo in his graduation gown in 2014.
Courtesy photo. Paul Kochu poses for a photo in his graduation gown in 2014.
Courtesy photo. Paul Kochu poses for a photo in his graduation gown in 2014.

By Julian Routh | News Editor

As the search for missing Duquesne graduate Paul Kochu entered its third week Tuesday, Kochu’s family is asking that the Pittsburgh community stay vigilant in its efforts to find him.

Kochu, 22, of Pottstown, has been missing since the early hours of Dec. 16. On Dec. 15, he talked to his mother on the phone at approximately 7:30 p.m. before going to Smokin’ Joe’s Saloon in South Side to watch Monday Night Football with two of his roommates, according to Kochu’s father, Jack. After leaving the bar at around midnight, Kochu returned to his residence, but called his roommates shortly after to tell them he had cut his hand on a drinking glass.

The roommates went back to help Kochu bandage his hand and clean up the broken glass, and then left the apartment to get food. When they returned, Kochu was not there, and neither were his phone, wallet and keys. His car was still parked outside.

Surveillance video time stamped at 2:46 a.m. on Dec. 16 shows Kochu walking past the Giant Eagle on Wharton Street in South Side. In the video, Kochu is wearing dark pants, a dark coat and dark shoes, and appears to have a white towel wrapped around his hand.

Kochu is described as 6 feet 2 inches tall and 185 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. He graduated from Duquesne in December with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. He started working in the Intensive Care Unit at Allegheny General Hospital in October.

“Paul was a quiet, serious student who always had a smile on his face,” nursing school dean Mary Ellen Glasgow wrote in an email.

Kochu’s family, friends and coworkers have conducted numerous searches throughout South Side and the surrounding area.

“It’s very humbling and heartwarming to see that after three weeks, people haven’t quit looking for Paul,” Jack Kochu said.

The Kochu family is offering a $20,000 reward to anyone who has information that may lead to Paul’s finding. The family is requesting that any information of Paul’s whereabouts be directed to Pittsburgh Police by calling 911 or 412-323-7141.

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