A California man secretly lived in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport for three months after reportedly being “scared to go home” because of COVID.

According to reports, Aditya Udai Singh was arrested on Jan. 16 at the airport. The Chicago Police department confirmed to CNN that Singh, 33, was charged with impersonation in a restricted area and theft of less than $500. 

Singh appeared in bond court the next day. According to the Chicago Tribune, prosecutors told the court that he had initially arrived at the airport on Oct. 19 on a flight from Los Angeles. To conceal himself, Singh is alleged to have spent his time living in undiscovered areas of the airport’s security zone.

Kathleen Hagerty, an assistant state’s attorney, reiterated that Singh was afraid of flying home because of the virus. According to the Chicago Tribune, other passengers provided food to Singh during his stay at the airport. 

On the day of his arrest, Singh was approached by two United Airlines employees, who asked for his identification. At that time, Singh presented the employees with a badge that belonged to an operations manager, which had been missing since late October.

The extraordinary circumstances of the case appeared to stun Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz, who expressed disbelief over the situation.

“If I understand you correctly, you’re telling me that an unauthorized, non-employee individual was allegedly living within a secure part of the O’Hare airport terminal from October 19, 2020, to January 16, 2021, and was not detected?”, she asked. “I want to understand you correctly.”

The airport is the busiest in the world for takeoffs and landings, and undoubtedly experienced a great amount of traffic during the time Singh was unlawfully occupying the premises. Before COVID, its passenger numbers were approximately 84.6 million per year. 

Assistant Public Defender Courtney Smallwood told the court Singh does not have a criminal record, the Chicago Tribune reported. Singh is a resident of Orange, which is a suburb of Los Angeles.

His bail was set to $1,000 and he is due back in court on Jan. 27. Until then, Singh has been instructed not to enter O’Hare airport.

Are you surprised it took three months for someone to discover Singh was living in the airport? Do you think he was safe from COVID given the number of people who pass through the building each day? Let us know your thoughts on this unbelievable story in the comments!