Missing Mississippi Student: Crime Victim or Runaway?

A Mississippi college student vanished mysteriously last week without her purse, but local police say there is "no evidence of a crime" and are investigating whether Kaila Morris may have run away.

Morris, 21, left her parents' house in Columbus, Miss., to visit a friend about 8 p.m. last Thursday, Lowndes County Lt. Tony Perkins told The Tuscaloosa News.

The part-time Mississippi State student didn't take her purse, money or credit cards with her.

No one has reported seeing or hearing from Morris since, leaving authorities and her family baffled.

“There is no evidence of a crime,” Perkins told the News. “We want to make sure that she’s OK.”

The young woman left with an unknown friend driving a dark-colored SUV or van, he said. It isn't known whether the friend is male or female.

"She had told her stepfather she was leaving with a friend around 8 p.m. last Thursday to see another friend across the state line in Alabama," Perkins told Mississippi State's paper The Reflector. "She never showed up."

Police are investigating whether Morris left on her own or ran away.

"We don't have any evidence that anything out of the way has happened yet," Perkins told The Reflector. "To our knowledge she could have voluntarily left with a friend."

The missing woman is described as 5 feet, 6 inches tall weighing 230 pounds. She has a rose tattoo on her second toe, a wolf tattoo on her right hip and a star and moon tattoo on her lower back, the News reported.

Morris takes classes at the Starkville campus of Mississippi State and is a junior in physical education, according to The Reflector. She works at The Cookie Store at a mall in Columbus.

“This is not like her normal behavior. She’s never been out of contact with her friends and family,” Morris' mother Bonnie Morris-Triplett told the Columbus Commercial Dispatch last week. “She’s a responsible girl. If anyone has any information, please, please contact us.”

A Facebook group "Missing: Kaila Morris" has been created. Anyone with information is urged to call the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office or Crimestoppers at 1-800-530-7151.

Click here for more from The Reflector at UWire.com.

More coverage at The Tuscaloosa News.