The Missing Americans Project

Looking for People and Answers

When a U.S. citizen disappears in a foreign country, the family quickly finds that they're on their own. We've been there and want to help.

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Looking for Americans Lost in Foreign Countries

Families of Americans who disappear in foreign countries should not have to invent the wheel. Unfortunately, this is what too often happens: people in deep distress have to learn how to run an international search and rescue operation, raise funds, cultivate relationships with nongovernmental organizations, and work with the media -- all within hours of learning their loved one is missing. The absence of clear standard operating procedures within and among U.S. embassies and a lack of State Department support leads to an unconscionable waste of time when time is of the essence.

The Missing Americans Project is intended to:

* Build awareness of the problems of Americans missing in foreign countries;
* Increase the accountability and transparency of U.S. State Department processes where missing Americans are concerned.
* Lobby for legal and policy changes where necessary.
* Develop a global rapid-response network that is not subject to the same bureaucratic wrangling as the U.S. State Department is.
* Advocate for the interests of the families of missing Americans.

Blog Posts

Most Dangerous Beaches in Costa Rica

A must read if you are planning to visit Costa Rica!

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on May 7, 2017 at 5:11pm

Belize Double Murder: 2 Suspects Arrested

Francesca Matus had been threatened in the days before her strangulation murder in a Belize sugar cane field.

And she was scared.

Cops say two suspects are now in custody but investigators are certain more people were involved in the deaths of Matus, 52, and her boyfriend, former Marine Drew DeVoursney, 36.

The duo disappeared a week ago Tuesday after spending the evening at Scotty’s Crocodile Cove bar - a popular ex-pat hangout. Their bodies were found Monday afternoon, ending a heartbreaking search.

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on May 3, 2017 at 8:02pm

Body of Missing U.S. Businessman Found in Ecuador

Ecuadorean officials say they've found the body of a U.S. businessmen buried beneath a house.

The prosecutor's office says a woman under investigation in the January disappearance of Jonathan Charles Gilchrist led them to the body of the 65-year-old, which was found beneath concrete about 6 feet (2 meters) deep at a house in the city of Guayaquil.

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on May 1, 2017 at 8:33pm

Vehicle of Toronto Woman, Missing in Belize, Found Abandoned North of Corozal

The search for a Toronto woman and her American boyfriend who went missing in Belize nearly a week ago, finally yielded a clue after her vehicle was found abandoned in a cane field near the village of Paraiso, north of the town of Corozal.

Francesca Matus, 52, and Drew De Voursney, 36, were last seen driving the white Isuzu Rodeo leaving a local bar at around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25, their friend Nancy Rifenbark told Global News.

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on May 1, 2017 at 8:22pm

Immigrants-Rights Activist Hugo Castro Alive in Mexico City

Immigrant rights activist Hugo Castro was reported alive in Mexico City Tuesday, five days after he took to Facebook Live to say he feared for his safety, then went missing.

Castro's co-workers at the non-profit Border Angels said Castro had been visited by his partner, who confirmed that the 45-year-old was well, though receiving medical attention before returning to the United States.

A U.S. government official confirmed the reports that Castro had been located, but provided no additional details.

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on May 1, 2017 at 8:15pm

Missing American Teen Found Safe and Well in Netherlands

An American teenager who flew to Schiphol, Netherlands, on April 1 without telling her parents and sparked a major police hunt has been found safe and well in Zwolle. The police said tips from the public "had helped" in the hunt for Maggie Lee, who is thought to have had internet contact with someone in The Hague.

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on April 30, 2017 at 9:12pm

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    TERESA SOLABERRY THOMAS commented on Claire Osborne's photo
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    Missing: Dickie Dale Osborne since Jan 2014

    "Any news at all on Dickinson Dale?"
    Thursday
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    May 15
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    Apr 29
    Jeff Dunsavage commented on Lisa Schwark Mullineaux's status
    "Lisa: You may want to join our Facebook group - there does seem to be more interaction there than…"
    Apr 29
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    Jeff Dunsavage commented on Lisa Schwark Mullineaux's status
    "Hi, Lisa. I'm the founder of MAP, and, like you, when I started the community almost 9 years…"
    Apr 29
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    "Got so much on my mind, and it just seems like we are always looking afhih"
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    "Does anybody ever talk in here? Support group? 1000 members and no one encourages, listens, nothing? Sad."
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    "I'm really pumped about being featured. Any time his face is out there,we'll find answers. I know it's been 31 years miracles happen right?"
    Apr 28
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    Remembering Ronald Scheepstra

    Ronald Scheepstra went missing April 11th 2009 in Xcalak, Mexico. This is a place to remember Ron…See More
    Apr 27
    Lisa Schwark Mullineaux posted a status
    "Does anyone ever chat here? I see so many pictures, but no one is on."
    Apr 26
    Lisa Schwark Mullineaux commented on Lisa Schwark Mullineaux's blog post I'm now a member of The Missing Americans Project
    "I rarely see people here.  Where is everyone?"
    Apr 26
    Rayne Cazzola is now a member of The Missing Americans Project
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