What Happened To American College Student

Skye Lynn Budnick

What happened to Skye Lynn Budnick?

Skye Lynn Budnick loved Japanese culture. She was student at Central Connecticut State University and from the town of Southington. On April 1, 2008, the twenty-one year old took a one way flight to the Hokkaido island of Japan and has not been heard from since. Japanese Authorities believe that she may have been headed to the city of Sapporo. Her family is concerned because Skye has suffered from depression and had stated in the past her willingness to commit suicide in Japan. Years later, her family does not know where she is. She may have killed herself, met with foul play or started a new life. Her family misses her and wants answers. If you have information about the whereabouts of Skye Lynn Budnick please contact the US Consulate in Sapporo Japan at 011-641-1115.

– Click ‘Read more’ for more details into Skye’s disappearence –   The family of a 21-year-old town woman last seen in Japan on April 7 spent more than a week conducting a search of two countries with police authorities, but her sister said Monday that she left Japan with more questions than answers.

Megan Budnick said the family learned that Skye Budnick, a junior at Central Connecticut State University, had been making stops at typical tourist attractions, including a hot spring resort, spas and inns, but found no indication that she was in Japan after April 7.

“We really don’t know what to think at this point,” Budnick said. “Police have been searching, using helicopters to scan the mountains and countryside, but couldn’t find any trace. We even found a body, but it wasn’t hers.”

Megan Budnick, who returned Friday from Japan, said the family would continue to look for Skye, but that they were running out of resources. Her mother, Susan Budnick, remains in Japan to continue the search with members of the U.S. Embassy and the Consulate in Sapporo.

Skye Lynn Budnick, of 44 Quaker Lane, was last seen on American soil on March 31 and has been missing since April 7, when she was seen at an inn at Noboribetsu, a town in the southern part of Hokkaido. An innkeeper told police he had spoken with her and learned she was going to Sapporo.

Police said they later found information in Skye Budnick’s e-mail account showing she had purchased a one-way ticket to Sapporo and had written a suicide note to New Britain resident Brittany Davis, a close friend and classmate at CCSU, but had saved the draft rather than sending it.

The family revealed Monday that Skye left with only her laptop and about $800, according to information obtained from her bank accounts. Megan Budnick said if her sister is still alive, she is not sure what she is doing for money.

Megan Budnick said her sister showed symptoms of clinical depression prior to leaving on the trip. There is a history of depression in the family, including one case that ended when an aunt committed suicide, she said.

Skye Budnick refused to see a doctor regarding the condition and was afraid to get help. Aside from one counselor she claimed to be seeing at CCSU, Megan Budnick said Skye constantly told family members she needed to resolve her issues alone.

“She said it was something she needed to do on her own, that it was something she could do on her own if she got a chance,” Budnick said. “We have gone through every scenario and this is what we hope she is trying to do.”

There were also several incidents prior to Skye Budnick’s disappearance that may have led to her decision to flee to Japan, including trouble at school and with Davis, one of her best friends.

Megan Budnick said she learned from Davis that the two had quarreled the week before Skye Budnick booked the trip. Davis told the family that Skye had approached her and blatantly stated that “her Japanese sucked,” Megan Budnick said.

Calls placed to Davis were not immediately returned Monday.

Megan Budnick said her sister also had been suffering academically, failing several courses including those within her major, and regularly would sleep through morning classes. The only reason she remained in school was to continue being a part of the anime club.

Skye Budnick also was upset because she had missed two opportunities to go to Japan as part of the CCSU study abroad program, having missed the deadlines and learning in March that there would not be another opportunity until 2010, after she was scheduled to graduate, her sister said.

“She always wanted to live in Japan, she told me during a conversation I had with her at the Hard Rock Café,” said Jackie Willametz, who chaperoned Skye Budnick, when she was a senior at Southington High School, on a field trip to New York with her daughter and fellow 2005 graduate, Julia. “I just hope that’s what she has been able to do.”

Skye Budnick had been studying Japanese Culture at CCSU for three years. Staff at Price Chopper, on Queen Street, confirmed Monday that she had been employed there and previously worked at the Southington Blockbuster video store, at 200 Main St.

Several SHS classmates said Monday that Skye Budnick was quiet and didn’t have many friends. She had an obsession with Japanese anime – family said it has been her passion since middle school -and didn’t make much effort to get to know people, they said.

SHS administrators said Skye didn’t get into trouble and did not belong to any school organizations or clubs, but they did not know her personally.

Krista Giuliani, who took several classes with Skye at SHS before graduating with her in 2005, said they often would include her in conversations but could not get her to truly open up. She described her as “kind, but very shy” and said she embraced an antisocial lifestyle.

Megan Budnick confirmed the antisocial behavior, saying her sister would not open up to anyone, including family members. She added that she continued to struggle socially after high school.

Giuliani and classmate Stephanie Quinn both said they did not expect Skye Budnick to run away from home, but were not surprised to hear that she did.

“We hung out with the same people, had the same interest and we talked all the time, but she seemingly did not click with anyone on an extra personal level,” Quinn said. “When I first heard this, when family was calling around to friends to see if we had any info, I can honestly say I was not surprised. If you knew her, this seems like a very Skye thing to do.”