WHEN friends last saw bubbly Yulia Solodyankina she was tired, but happy. The Russian-born student had just completed a gig at an Edinburgh bar with drumming and dance group Anansi and headed home for a relatively early night.
The following day, she sent routine messages to a friend and her boyfriend and all seemed well.
But that was more than a week ago, and Yulia has not been seen or heard from since.
The 22-year-old has vanished leaving her phone and laptop behind in the city flat she shared with friends who are now becoming increasingly concerned for her safety.
Yulia, who has been studying physics in the Capital for four years, was last seen leaving The Wee Red Bar at Edinburgh College of Art just after 9pm on Thursday, June 6.
Friends first noticed something was amiss when she did not turn up to perform at Musselburgh Children’s Gala Day on Saturday. They said it was totally out of character for her as she was looking forward to appearing on stage.
She was scheduled to perform with Anansi at around noon. When friends tried to contact her, her mobile phone was switched off. It was later discovered along with her laptop in the South Clerk Street flat she shares with two others.
Her boyfriend of six months, Antoine Dao, 21, a third-year engineering student at the university, said it was unlike Yulia to go anywhere without her phone.
He said: “She likes to be connected with the world at all times, this is not like her at all.
“The message I got from her on Friday didn’t give any indication that anything was wrong, it was just general chit-chat, and she mentioned she had the gig at Musselburgh the next day and said she was getting ready for it.”
Yulia’s family is understood to have come over to Edinburgh from Russia and are aiding the police with their inquiries.
Antoine added: “Her father was due to come over on Wednesday for a visit anyway – it was all arranged for him to meet up with her.
“He’s here now speaking with the police.”
Anansi drummer Graham Clark said he last saw Yulia leave the venue at around 9pm.
He said: “We were performing as the support act, but she left before the end of the main act’s performance.
“She looked a bit tired, but otherwise fine, I know enough about her to know that Yulia makes commitments and sticks to them – she always turns up when she says she will.
“She’s young, but she’s in no way flaky.
“The police have been helpful, but it’s been a week now and we’re all getting very concerned.”
A spokesman for Police Scotland confirmed that Yulia had been reported missing and that inquiries were ongoing. Anyone with any information should contact 0131 311 3131.
Facebook appeal posted
Videos and photographs showing dancer Yulia performing with Anansi at The Meadows Festival at the start of June can be seen on the group’s Facebook page.
Anansi describe themselves as “a group of drummers, dancers and fire performers, named after the trickster spider in the Ashanti tales”.
Posts on the group’s Facebook page appealing for anyone with information about Yulia to come forward have been shared across the social-networking site multiple times. The posts say: “She has been missing a week now & her folks are getting very worried – this is completely out of her character. If you think you may have seen her, please get in touch with the police quoting incident #0639.”