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

Remains Found of German Tourist Missing in Costa Rica

A body discovered on a beach just outside Costa Rica’s Santa Rosa National Park in Guanacaste is believed to be a German tourist who had been missing since entering the park with friends on Monday, according to the Ministry of Public Security (MSP).

Read full article.

Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on April 9, 2016 at 2:20pm

More Missing in Matamoros (It Ought to Be a Song Title - a Sad One)

More than a year ago, a Brownsville, Texas, mother’s sons went missing in Matamoros, Mexico.

Ernesto and Jesus Garcia crossed the Gateway International Bridge to visit their grandmother. Maria Garcia said that was the last time she saw her boys.

Garcia can recall the desperate call from one of her sons. “He called me on Sunday in the morning. He told me to pray for him, but I don’t know in what situation he was in over there,” she said.

Garcia said her sons are veterans.…

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on April 9, 2016 at 1:42pm

Terrifying ordeal; Happy Ending!!

In April 2014 my step-daughter left the US to go to Mexico to be with an abusive boyfriend.  There was nothing I could do to stop her, she is after all an adult and not my biological child.  I didn't realize she was gone (I was recovering from bilateral hip replacement) until August when I couldn't contact her for weeks and weeks.  I stopped by her place and ultimately called the police to do a "wellness check" on her.  This is when I learned that she had left with her two daughters ages 2…

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Posted by Susan Evans on March 10, 2016 at 12:09pm

A.M. Costa Rica: Agents Raid Lawyer's Office as Part of Missing U.S. Ex-Pat Case

A.M. Costa Rica reports:

Judicial investigators searched a lawyer's office in Ciudad Quesada Thursday, and this appears to be related with an 

effort to find a missing U.S. expat.

The Judicial Investigating Organization issued a brief statement Thursday afternoon. It said that agents entered and searched a lawyer's office in an investigation of false paperwork. The paperwork was related to the presentation to the Registro Nacional in June documents that…

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on November 21, 2015 at 9:50am

Missing American Expat Cuicocha Ecuador

On November 14th, 2015, U.S. citizen Jill Brown disappeared from outside her ranch in Cuicocha Ecuador. Apparently she was waiting for transportation at the time of her disappearance. Her approximate age is early 60's, and is 5'8 - 5'9. She is listed as African American and or possibly Cherokee. .

Police Contact Information:

Police contact: Santiago Ortiz: 0982414205 

Secondary Contact: Nicholas Crowder…

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Posted by Nicholas Crowder on November 18, 2015 at 4:00am

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