SUNY Cortland professor missing

A SUNY Cortland professor has reportedly been missing, according to a Facebook post by Beth Klein.

Dr. Muteb Alqahtani, a professor in SUNY Cortland’s childhood/early childhood education department, was last seen taking out garbage to the dumpster around 8 a.m. Monday, according to his girlfriend Valerie Widdall in an interview with The Cortland Voice Tuesday morning.

Alqahtani, age 40, is 5’8” with “dark curly hair and a beard,” which is noted in Klein’s Facebook post.

Dr. Muteb Alqahtani (Photo via Beth Shiner Klein's Facebook page).

“He was supposed to run a Zoom meeting at 8:30 a.m., but never made it to the meeting,” Widdall said.

Klein, a colleague and friend of Alqahtani, noted his cell phone pinged near his Country Townhomes apartment in the town of Cortlandville.

When going through Alqahtani’s apartment, Widdall noticed some items missing, including his iPad, Dell computer, heightened boots and water bottle.

Widdall noted Alqahtani’s iPad doesn’t work “unless it’s plugged in,” and his Dell computer is “too heavy to carry around.”

“(They are items) he normally doesn’t take with him,” Widdall said of Alqahtani’s iPad and computer.

Despite the missing items, Widdall mentioned that Alqahtani’s keys (home and office), wallet and car are all present at his apartment. Widdall is also unsure of the clothes that Alqahtani is wearing.

Fred Pierce, SUNY Cortland’s communications director, told The Cortland Voice that the college was made aware of Alqahtani’s disappearance Tuesday morning. He noted as of mid-Tuesday morning, the college does not have any further details on the situation.

“We are currently trying to get more information,” Pierce said. “We’re very concerned. At this point, we don’t know if there’s reason to be concerned.”

Klein noted that the search continues for Alqahtani.

Widdall mentioned that she didn’t see any reason as to why Alqahtani would walk, or possibly run, prior to his meeting Monday morning.

“He’s not a ‘get up in the morning’ kind of guy in the first place, let alone a ‘get up in the morning and run’ kind of guy,” Widdall added.

A representative from the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office could not be reached for comment.

The Cortland Voice will provide updates as they become available.