A new tip and a call for help

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Today, we have a very significant lead from a fellow USC student
A man who looked like Derek with a full beard was spotted in in Northern California, near where the 395/203 highways meet
Is anyone out there able to help put posters and flyers up in the following places near where we received this tip?
  • June Lake (resort town)
  • Lee Vining
  • Bridgeport
  • Carson City
  • Reno (closest REI)
  • Bishop
  • Lone Pine
  • Big Pine
  • Olancha
  • Independence

While its almost been a year and a half from the time we last saw Derek, we do think the weight of the person who gave us this tip means we are obligated to follow up. We’re asking anyone who may be in the area or near by who can help please contact us at

so that we can coordinate a follow up to this significant lead

Thank you!

-Help Find Derek team

We would be eternally grateful!

As it happens, there is a livestream camera in the area


One year in. From Mary to Derek

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Hi Friend,

It’s been almost a year since you’ve been gone. A lot has changed. You can’t find me at CVT in unit 1302 baking up a batch of s’mores cookies or cooking up some spaghetti bolognese. Shuhan moved to Boston for residency.

People say that time heals all wounds. I’m not certain. As time passes, I think of you less, yet I think of you more. I wonder about you regularly. Mostly, I hope that you are alive and well; I hope that you are in Mexico or Costa Rica surfing or mountain manning it on the PCT. Where ever you are, where ever you may be, where ever you may go, as much as I miss you and wish you were here, I hope you have found the peace that you need. Until the day that your dead body shows up, I’m going to keep sending you prayers, thoughts and good juju and good karma.

You will remain in my memory the most kind and empathetic person- there are so many times that you’ve shown me how to be more. Thank you for being my friend.

Love you Derek

P.S. These are little random bits that I want to tell you about if you’re out there reading this.

I’ve been on one car camping trip since you left. It was a disaster. First of all it was in Wisconsin. Second of all, a storm blew through and Shuhan broke his arm and needed a staple on his head. Shuhan told me to tourniquet his head wound and I was super confused- was I supposed to tourniquet his neck? That didn’t make sense. I’m missing all the crazy shenanigans on the camping trips- I’m definitely sad we haven’t had any more campfire cooking.

Shuhan and I went to Nepal and climbed to Everest Base Camp. We did it on the cheap. You would love it- so gorgeous- the tea houses, yaks, Himalayas. We stayed at this place in Pangboche that would have been perfect for our tri-be- three mattesses next to each other. I also pooped in my pants… twice. I don’t know if you would have found it hilarious, disgusting or a little of both. I think it’s disgustingly hilarious.

I didn’t go surfing for a really long time. I went a month ago for the first time to clear my head. I still suck. I could definitely still use your help getting towed out. Remember that moment you and I realized too late that I was going to eat it on that wave and then eating it… hard. Oops. I really miss the before/ after surfing treats- The Kettle, that pancake place, Whole Foods. I used most of the duck fat that you got me from Whole Foods after one of our surfing escapades and they are the perfect accoutrement to roasted rosemary potatoes. I think of you every time I’m driving to El Porto and when I’m in the water, I feel peace.

Shuhan and I hosted exactly one more dinner party. You know that you RSVP’ed “Yes” on Facebook right? One of the greatest compliment you gave me was “just tell Mary you’re coming over to study and she’ll feed you.” You brought a bottle of wine every single time you came over. I miss cooking for our little family.

Shuhan and I aren’t together anymore. I wonder what you would say to him. I wonder what you would say to me. I know you would have been sad.

A lot has happened this year. What about you?

One Year in

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Derek has been missing for one year now.

One year ago, friends, family, and myself spent every minute in what felt like an impossible struggle to searching for Derek. With the gracious help of local store owners and their surveillance footage, with the help of the hard working men and women in all the legal labyrinths we had to navigate, and with the hard work of all of his friends and family, we put every ounce of ourselves into finding him. One year ago there were things we could do to bring him back. But despite our best efforts we never did.

And in the past year, we’ve gone through spurts of hope, even longer periods of silence and paralyzing calm in the hope that maybe something would turn up. He never did.

I’ve always thought of how exactly I should feel. Sometimes I feel like I failed. Other days, I feel like I should have hope, because that helps me feel like Derek is still out there. Some days, I do feel like he is out there, just calmly surfing the gulf of Mexico on a tropical resort without a care in the world. Other days I think maybe that’s just foolish and naive of me to think that. Everyone might think I’m a bit of sucker, I’d tell myself. I wouldn’t want people to think that. Or, maybe I should be a bit more realistic. He wouldn’t keep us all wondering like this. We know that he was just too considerate. Who knows what the right answer is–there’s not textbook for this kind of stuff.

In the last few days leading up to this anniversary, I’ve read amazing stories of love and hope and memories of what Derek was like when he was in all of our lives. He was warm, compassionate, intelligent, loving, curious, fun, loyal and amazing, not just to me, but to so many different people. One year in, that’s all I can do now. Every day I try to remind myself to be more like Derek.

That’s all I can do now to help find Derek. There’s no footage left to be had, all the clues have dried up, and every avenue has been exhausted.  In another year, that might again still be the case. It might be that way for the rest of our lives. But this website will be here in the hope that it may someday be useful in helping find Derek. But until then, the only thing I can do, is to live every day like Derek is there. To be a bit more compassionate, to be more curious, and more loving to those around me. Maybe I’ll put a bit more priority on that trip to South America I’ve always wanted to take. That’s what Derek would have done. Or maybe I’ll go out of my way to I tell someone that that I appreciate them and give them a hug, just like Derek would have done. I can only try, in the hope that I can someday be more like him. Just like I will always try to find him and bring him home. I will always try to keep him in my life.

Thank you all for your kind messages in the past year. It means a great deal to me and everyone else involved in the search for Derek.


Happy Birthday Derek

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Happy birthday! Wherever you are, and however you may be today, you’re loved by your friends and family. We miss you, and we love you dearly.

I’m sitting here studying for an exam, drinking coffee and watching life go by. Every day these little moments that make me remember just how much I miss you. Every good thing that happens to me makes me think about how you should have been here, because you would have been happy for me.

For every bit of bad news or setback that I get in life, I remember how comfortable I felt sharing that with you too. Driving in a car. Oh, that’s the toughest. I used to have conversations with myself, but I now find that I’m actually more comfortable thinking about all my faults and vulnerabilities when you’re part of my inner monologue, more so than when I talk to myself. Go figure.

When I hop on a flight, I think about your seat next to me. Where would you have slept when you stayed in San Francisco? Did you want to go to the moon festival in Tibet? How about Chile? Aconcagua? The TcDS machine still hasn’t been built, but I’ll get around to it. Mary is awesome at planning our interviews, isn’t she?

Regardless of what any future developments may be, the things I’ll always remember about you will always stay the same. I don’t know where you are, who does? But I know that I still think about you every day. You were always an incredible source of strength and intelligence, but your friendships were truly special. I’m a better person because of you. We’re all better people because of you.

To all his friends and family, I encourage you to share  any fond memories of Derek, either on the comments below, or on his Facebook page. These were mine, but I know I was just one of the many. These memories are special, and I know I would love to hear them all from you.


All the best





Press Conference Announcement

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Potential Sighting Ignites Search for Missing USC Med Student

Family to Hold Press Conference on Friday at USC Keck School of Medicine

WHO:   Derek Seehausen, USC medical student who has been missing since on or about Aug. 5, 2014

WHAT:  Derek is believed to be alive; family to hold press conference to offer details and photos on the latest potential sighting and seek the public’s help in the search

WHEN: Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. 10 a.m. PT

WHERE: USC Medical School – Aretsy Auditorium

1450 Biggy Street, Lower Ground Level

Los Angeles, CA 90033

WHY:  Private investigator confirms that Derek is believed to be alive and may be in need of immediate medical attention. A photo released by LAPD on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, of a man on a metro LA bus bearing striking resemblance to Derek has fueled a sense of urgency to locate the missing student.


  • Photos of Derek as last seen, including recent potential sighting
  • Private Investigator Thomas Martin of Martin Investigative Services in Newport Beach to release latest details in search for Derek
  • Jean Gadra, Derek’s mother, in her first public appearance to plea for the public’s help
  • Hundreds of USC students to gather to hear the latest updates


  • Thomas Martin will open with the latest findings in the search for Derek
  • Jean Gadra, Derek’s mother, will make her plea to students and the public for assistance in locating Derek
  • The floor will then be opened to attending media to ask questions
  • Thomas Martin, Jean Gadra, and Shuhan He (Friend/USC Student) will be available for interviews regarding Derek’s disappearance


Livestream link: (Available 9am Friday 9/12)

CONTACT:     Anyone with information regarding Derek is asked to contact the LAPD Adult Missing Person Unit at (213) 996-1800.

RSVP:             For reserved complimentary parking and seating, confirm attendance to or (760) 828-7100.

Students and friends in LA can RSVP here:

Press Contact:

Caroline Callaway

C: (760) 828-7100



Friday 9/12/14

Aresty Auditorium

1450 Biggy St

Los Angeles, CA 90033