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

Montreal Mom Seeks Son Missing in Peru

Alisa Clamen is heading to Lima, Peru to look for her son, Jesse Galganov, whom she says hasn’t gotten in touch for three weeks. Galganov, 22, was on the first leg of an eight-month trip around South American and south-east Asia, planning to later return to start medical school in Philadelphia.

“He texted me on Sept. 28 to say that he would probably be unreachable for a few days, until Oct. 2,” she explained, adding he was planning to do the Santa Cruz Trek.

Clamen hasn’t heard a word from her son since, and says she doesn’t know if he was hiking alone or in a group.

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on October 18, 2017 at 10:00pm

23-Year-Old Australian Missing in Guatemala Since January

Michael Eather went tubing with a friend in the early hours of Monday, January 23. Their tube capsized in fast-flowing rapids on the Rio Cahabon and the two were swept apart.

While his friend was found the following day wandering around confused in the jungle, no-one has seen the 23-year-old since.

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on August 17, 2017 at 2:07pm

Natalee Holloway's Father Claims New Evidence in Daughter's Disappearance

Natalee Holloway disappeared in 2005 during a senior class trip to the island nation. Her body was never found, but her family believes that Dutchman Joran van der Sloot—who is serving time in a Peruvian prison for murdering a woman in 2010 in an unrelated case—is behind Holloway’s disappearance.

In the new “The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway,” set to premiere on Aug. 19, the viewers will follow Dave Holloway as he attempts to figure out what happened to his daughter.

“Twelve years and we still have nothing—until now,” Dave told People magazine.

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on July 25, 2017 at 11:00am

Update: U.S. Medical Student, Missing in Peru, Found Dead

24-year-old medical student, Seth Alexander Thomas from the United States, was found deceased on June 25, 2017, in the Cusco Department of Peru. Seth had begun a hike Friday afternoon on June 23, 2017, to Cerro Picol, San Jerónimo, in Cusco at about two in the afternoon. He did not return at sunset as planned and a search began early Saturday morning. Apparently, Mr. Thomas fell from a ledge while hiking resulting in injuries which caused his death. 

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on July 20, 2017 at 8:08pm

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