The Disappearance of Sydney West


Sydney West was born on July 11, 2001 to her parents, Jay and Kimberly West. The family, which also includes her younger sister, lived in Pleasanton, California for the majority of Sydney’s life, before relocating to Chapel Hill, North Carolina in the late 2010s.

Growing up, Sydney is described as being a sweet and goofy girl, who wasn’t afraid to be herself and let her true colours show. Those who knew her enjoyed her company, and her family says she made life better for those around her. She was also intelligent and well-spoken, with a love for the environment – so much so that she convinced her mother to start composting. This is attributed to her love of animals and the amount of time she spent outdoors.

Volleyball was one of Sydney’s passions, as she enjoyed living an active lifestyle. While attending Foothill High School in Pleasanton, she was known as a star member of the varsity team, and upon transferring to Chapel Hill’s Carrboro High School, she would become said school’s varsity co-captain. She would eventually transition to playing beach volleyball in 2019 and 2020.

Along with sports, Sydney was also interested in the arts. While she enjoyed writing and doing art, her favourite form of expression was music. She was known to attend open mic nights and would write, record and perform her own music, which her father has since been uploading to Soundcloud.

While Sydney might have appeared to have it all on the outside, she was known to struggle occasionally with her mental health. After graduating high school in 2019, she took a gap year, where, according to blog posts written by her, she began experiencing bouts of depression, on top of her anxiety.

In August 2020, Sydney moved back to California to begin classes at UC Berkeley. Her family helped her move into her dormitory, and while she had not declared a major, she showed a strong interest in medicine, business and biological sciences. She also joined the school’s rowing team. However, according to her uncle, she was having trouble adjusting to college life, with some sources reporting that Sydney eventually moved out of her dormitory and in with some friends in the San Francisco area.


On September 29, 2020, Jay and Sydney spoke on the phone, with Jay expecting to hear from his daughter the next day. However, that call would never come.

Not much is known about the day Sydney disappeared. All that investigators have shared with the public is that she was last seen at approximately 6:45am on the morning of September 30, 2020 near Crissy Field, which is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco. It’s known as a place where people go for outdoor activities, such as biking, running and yoga. On the morning in question, it’s said to have been exceptionally foggy out.

On October 2, 2020, two days after Sydney was last seen, a family member reported her missing to the San Francisco Police Department, who prepared a missing persons report.


Since Sydney was reported missing, the San Francisco Police Department has been actively search for her across the city and the Bay Area. Her information has been entered into the National Crime Information Center database, and the case is being handled by the Missing Persons Section of the Special Victim’s Unit. They have remained tight-lipped about the investigation and any potential leads they are following up on, other than to say there is no evidence of foul play. They have publicly stated that they consider Sydney to be an at-risk missing person, given her history of depression.

In order to get the word out about Sydney’s disappearance, her family set up a Facebook page and an Instagram account, which they regularly update. As well, those who knew the missing girl have been spreading the word via their own social media accounts, in the hopes someone with information will come forward as to her whereabouts.

According to those who live in the San Francisco area, there are flyers posted across the city featuring Sydney’s image and description. The family has also hired a private investigator who is working alongside the San Francisco Police Department.

The family is asking anyone who frequents the Golden Gate Bridge area, either on their commute to work or for physical activity, to come forward with any information they may have. They are particularly interested in learning if anyone saw anything suspicious on the morning Sydney went missing. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office, which serves the Chapel Hill area in North Carolina, has also reached out to local residents, asking them to inform the authorities if they’ve had any contact with her.


The West family has held numerous vigils for Sydney, which have occurred in both North Carolina and California. At these vigils, flyers are handed out, along with masks with the hashtag #FindSydneyWest on them.


Sydney “Syd” West went missing from the Crissy Field area of San Francisco, California on September 30, 2020. She was 19 years old and was last seen wearing either black tights or black shorts, a teal hoodie, and dark green and black slip-on Vans shoes. She is said to have had a black backpack with her for a period of time, and she may or may not have been wearing prescription glasses. At the time of her disappearance, she was tall and of a slim build, standing at 5’10” and weighing approximately 130 to 135 pounds. She has light brown hair that was either styled in a bun or a ponytail, and blue eyes.

Currently, the case is classified as an at-risk missing person, given Sydney’s history of depression. If alive, she would still be 19 years old.

Those with information regarding the case are asked to contact the San Francisco Police Department’s tip line at 415-575-4444 or the family’s private investigator at 925-705-8328. North Carolina residents are asked to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at 919-245-2909.

Image Credit: Find Sydney West Facebook Page

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5 comments on “The Disappearance of Sydney West”

    1. There’s sadly very little indication of anything regarding this case. All we have to go on is what the authorities have shared with the public and what theories online sleuths have – some have theorized she may have died by suicide, given she went missing near the Golden Gate Bridge, which has been known in the past to be a place where many people have gone to end their lives. However, we cannot be certain that is what happened in this specific case.

      In regards to the “If alive” phrase, it is not meant to imply that I believe Sydney to be dead and I mean no offence by it. The overall sentence is something I use in all my missing persons articles, so that people know the person’s current age if they are still alive. I’m the type of person who holds out hope that those missing are alive, unless evidence or the authorities indicate otherwise.

      1. Your report reads so well. Please correct to say: …”it is not meant to imply that I believe…” OR “… it is not meant for people to infer that I believe…” . I infer from what you imply. Thanks!!! And best wishes for a safe return for Sydney.

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