After four long days of being unaccounted for, first-year Geology student Jake Turble, was discovered unconscious amidst the rubble and dust of the construction area surrounding the east end of Davidson Library.
Prior to going missing, Turble was last seen leaving his residence hall, San Nicolas, on Monday morning. The front desk attendant on duty at the time at San Nicolas, Lila Nguyen, recalls Turble asking fellow residents where maps are sold on campus before he left the building in a rush. When his hall mates noticed he did not attend his favorite late-night meal at the De La Guerra dining commons, concerns grew and an official missing persons report was filed late that evening.
Tom Adams, a 48 year-old landscaping contractor, had been working the graveyard shift for the new BioEngineering building when something out of the corner of his eye caught his attention.
“I was moving shards of concrete with my fork lift when I saw an FSSP shirt and a brand new UCSB Rec Sports bag poking out from under the rubble,” recounted Adams. “My immediate reaction was, ‘It’s a freshman! And he’s alive!’”
Still covered in dirt and debris and visibly shaken up, Turble, according to Adams, was somewhat delusional after subsisting so long without food. “He kept saying, ‘I’m gonna be late to my Geochem class. My mom is going to kill me!’”
With only a 17 pound backpack and a campus map with him on the day he went missing, UCSB Student Health nurses say it is nothing short of a miracle that he did survive for so long without food or water. When interviewed about this by the UC Police, Turble responded that he had found a half-eaten Snickers bar that dropped from a construction worker’s pocket, which held him off until his discovery.
In response to Jake Turble’s story, UC officials and campus organizations are developing strategies to help spread awareness about and combat future freshmen’s difficulties navigating their way around their new campus. UC president Janet Napolitano’s plan includes a raise in tuition costs in small yearly increments in order to fund and implement information kiosks in various areas around campus.
As for Turble, he later ended up dropping the Geochemistry class due to having two unexcused absences. His mother, Linda Turble, assured him that she understood.