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CHICAGO — A man who was living inside O’Hare International Airport managed to escape detection for three months, according to prosecutors.

Aditya Singh, 36, is charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanor theft. Police said Singh claimed he was too afraid to fly home to California because of COVID-19.

Singh arrived at O’Hare from Los Angeles on Oct. 19 and lived in the airport’s security zone since then, police said.

Officials said two United Airlines employees asked him for credentials this weekend. He allegedly showed a badge that an operations manager had reported missing back in October.

The employees called 911, and Singh was taken into custody around 11:10 a.m. Saturday in Terminal 2.

On Sunday, Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz reacted incredulously after a prosecutor detailed the allegations.

“So if I understand you correctly,” Ortiz said, “you’re telling me that an unauthorized, nonemployee individual was allegedly living within a secure part of the O’Hare airport terminal from Oct. 19, 2020, to Jan. 16, 2021, and was not detected? I want to understand you correctly.”

The judge ruled that Singh could be released if he paid $1,000, but said that he was prohibited from setting foot in the airport.

As of Monday morning, Singh remained in the Cook County Jail.

He is due back in court Jan. 27.

The Chicago Department of Aviation released the following statement:

“CDA has no higher priority than the safety and security of our airports, which is maintained by a coordinated and multilayered law enforcement network. 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. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners on a thorough investigation of this matter.” 

Chicago Department of Aviation