A man was arrested over the weekend after he was discovered to have been living in Chicago O'Hare for the past three months.
According to the Chicago Tribune, two United Airlines employees approached 36-year-old Aditya Singh and asked to see identification. The 36-year-old then showed an ID badge that belonged to an airport operations manager who had reported it missing back in October.
The employees called the police, who took Singh into custody. He was charged with felony criminal trespass and misdemeanor theft.
It is unclear whether or not he stole the ID badge or if he found it. Friends called Singh a "gentle soul" in a subsequent Chicago Tribune story and he does not have any previous criminal record.
Singh is from Los Angeles and was "scared to go home due to COVID," the Chicago Tribune reported. He had been living at the airport since arriving on a flight from Los Angeles on Oct. 19 — for a layover on his way to India — and survived on food from other passengers.
In texts with a friend shared with the paper, Singh said he was enjoying his time at the airport, meeting new people, sharing his spiritual philosophies, and trying to help improve their lives.
"While this incident remains under investigation, we have been able to determine that this gentleman did not pose a security risk to the airport or to the traveling public," the Chicago Department of Aviation said in a statement. "We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners on a thorough investigation of this matter."
Singh lives in California's Orange County. The court denied his defense attorney's request to fly home and set bail at $1,000.
He is due back in court later this month.
Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.
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