Not his village neighbors in China's far west, who haven't seen him in months. Not his former classmates, who fear Chinese authorities beat him to death.
Not his mother, who lives in a two-story house at the far end of a country road, alone behind walls bleached by the desert sun. She opened the door one afternoon for an unexpected visit by Associated Press reporters, who showed her a picture of a handsome young man posing in a park, one arm in the wind.
"Yes, that's him," she said as tears began streaming down her face. "This is the first time I've heard anything of him in seven months. What happened?"
"Is he dead or alive?"
The student's friends think he joined the thousands — possibly tens of thousands — of people, rights groups and academics estimate, who have been spirited without trial into secretive detention camps for alleged political crimes that range from having extremist thoughts to merely traveling or studying abroad.