Tempe, AZ- A Tempe area psychic, Melinda Vail, extended her services to help search for Jack Culolias. Culolias is a missing 19-year-old college student. His family is desperate to have him home for the holidays. Culolias’s last sighting was at Cadillac Ranch bar at Tempe Marketplace on November 30th. He’s a student at Arizona State University and was there for a fraternity event.
Vail told ABC News that she heard about Culolias’ case and volunteered her services because she wanted to help. Out of respect for Culolias’ family, Vail has declined to state if she believes Culolias is still alive. However, she gave the Tempe police detailed information they could use in their search. Vail said, “I’m getting names of living and dead people. They are pieces to a puzzle.”
So far, the search for Culolias has been frustrating and anguishing for his loved ones. Alec Pinto, a friend of Culolias, was with him at the Cadillac Ranch bar the night of his disappearance. They joined the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon and were at the bar socializing with the rest of the fraternity members. They were just there to hang out and have fun before facing the following weeks’ initiation into the fraternity.
It had nothing to do with hazing at all. “It was purely for fun,” said Pinto. Pinto states that Culolias got very intoxicated and urinated off of a balcony. This incident caused him to get escorted out of the bar by bouncers, and it was the last time anyone saw him. The next day, after not having heard from Culolias following that event, Pinto became increasingly concerned about him.
Culolias’ Friend Knew Something Needed To Be Done
“I was worried that no one had seen him and that he hadn’t contacted me,” said Pinto. He and Culolias would usually either see or talk to each other daily. After unsuccessful attempts to reach Culolias on his cell phone, Pinto decided to go to his dorm, but he wasn’t there. He found out later that Culolias had left his cell phone at the bar.
The next day, after still not knowing Culolias’ whereabouts, Pinto became afraid for his well-being and called Culolias’ family in Orange County, California. He asked his mother, Grace Culolias, to file a missing person’s report on him. His mother did file the report with the Arizona State University Police but quickly discovered that they may not be of much help because they were short-staffed.
Unable to sit back and wait, she drove to Arizona and attempted to locate Culolias herself. “I felt like I was the one in charge of the investigation,” she said. The Monday following his disappearance, she went to an area described as “desolate” by Tempe police, a river basin near the bar, to see if she could find any clues. She found a single red Vans sneaker that she knew was his.
Upon discovering his shoe, she called the Tempe Police Department, which had taken over the investigation by now. When she told the Arizona State University police department what she found, they told her they’d already searched that area the night before with flashlights. However, Grace was unsatisfied with their actions during the first critical hours after being notified of her son’s disappearance.
Culolias’ Mother Not Happy With Local Police
“The police did not do a good job. If they had, they would have found the shoe sooner. They should have immediately turned it [the investigation] over,” Grace said. ABC News attempted to reach the Arizona State University Police Department via phone calls and emails to comment but were unsuccessful. When the Tempe Police Department took over the investigation, they used a helicopter, K-9 unit, and specialty equipment to search underwater for him.
Though they’ve found nothing, they say they have no reason to believe foul play was involved. His mother mentioned that Jack had confided in her about being worried and nervous about the upcoming fraternity initiation week- “hell week,” as he called it. “There is no sign of foul play. I’m hoping Jack may have hidden because he didn’t want to go through hell week.
It may have had something to do with the fraternity, but, at this point, I don’t see any physical evidence,” she said. Pinto says the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity has a stringent policy against hazing and excessive drunkenness. SAE started a fund to raise money for Jack’s family’s expenses. Staying in Arizona to search for him has gotten expensive, but the fraternity has already raised $2,712 in only two days.
Grace spoke to reporters about her undying resolve to locate her missing son over the phone. “I am all cried out. I’m a wreck, but I can’t sit in a ball and cry; that won’t bring my son home. I’m at the search site to ensure they [the police] are out here. It’s giving me peace of mind,” she said. Read how a psychic led a missing man’s friend to discover his body.