Friend of missing UR professor: ‘I’m extremely worried’

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The search continues for a missing Boston man who disappeared from Exchange Street in Rochester.

Heikki Rantakari checked in to his Airbnb last Friday, and hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Police fear he’s in danger.

As you can imagine, Rantakari’s loved ones are very concerned, and say that all of this is very out of character for him.

Heikki Rantakari flew in from Boston on Friday to teach at the UR’s Simon School of Business where he is an Associate Professor. He checked into his Exchange Street Airbnb that night. And when he didn’t show up for class the next morning, colleagues called the police.

“This is completely unexpected for us. He’s a fantastic researcher, a very gifted teacher, also a love teacher, very highly appreciated. And is he’s somebody who you just completely can rely on. He just never turns up late,” Rantakari’s friend Florian Ederer said.

The two have known each other since 2004. And Ederer says he’s very worried about his friend.

In a statement, his family describes him as hardworking and a nice and quiet man.

“And so, the fact that he’s gone missing in a in a place where, you know, he also feels at home is very, very troubling,” Ederer said.

Police won’t say why they believe Rantakari could be in danger, only saying their investigation leads them to think that.

Heikki Rantakari is approximately five foot eleven inches and 180 pounds, has blonde hair and blue eyes and has a Finnish accent.

If you have any information regarding his disappearance- call 911.

Here’s the family’s full statement:

“Heikki Rantakari is a hard-working professor and a nice, quiet man personally. 

He was last seen Friday 10/20/23 approximately 9-11pm at 1062 Exchange St. (14608). He may have been walking around there and/or surrounding areas. 

He is 44 years old, approximately 5’11”, average physique approximately 180lbs., has blonde hair and blue eyes, and a Finnish accent. 

If anyone may have seen him or spoken to him, any information from the public regarding his welfare or whereabouts is greatly needed to help find him ASAP. 

Any information can be directed to Rochester Police Dept. Major Crimes unit: 585-428-7157. 

Thank you so much. Many are praying for his safe return.”