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

The Latest on the Search for Jenny Chen, Missing in Mexico

Evidence suggests that Jenny Chen, missing in Mexico for a month and a half, may have accepted a ride from a Corona truck in her effort to get to Cancun to meet with her husband, Jonathan Reinhard. The beer company, however, has been less than forthcoming in Mr. Reinhard's efforts to find out what ultimately happened to his wife.

Read full article

Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on May 25, 2016 at 9:47pm

Authorities Warn About Mexico Carjackings

Law enforcement officials are warning people who are traveling to Mexico with their vehicles. A Reynosa, TX-based Facebook page recently posted a video showing an attempted carjacking on a busy street.

The video was posted late Thursday on ‘Reynosa Codigo Rojo’s’ Facebook page. It shows cars waiting at a stoplight, and then three men jumping out of a white car. The men approached a black four-door pickup in the next lane and attempted to open the doors. The traffic light turned green,…

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on May 23, 2016 at 8:01pm

Cody Dial's Passport Found Among Human Remains in Costa Rica as Documentary About Search for the Missing Man Airs

The passport belonging to Cody Roman Dial, a 27-year-old Alaska man who went missing in Costa Rica nearly two years ago, was found amongst human remains discovered in the Corcovado National Park on Friday, authorities in Costa Rica announced shortly before noon on Monday. Dial has been missing since July 22, 2014. The discovery of the remains came just two days before National Geographic was set to air a documentary about the young man’s disappearance.

Dial’s family has been informed…

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on May 23, 2016 at 7:43pm

Missing Abroad - Who Cares? Seattle Husband Meets Official Indifference as He Searches for Wife Missing in Mexico

Sound familiar? 

MAP member Jonathan Reinhard describes his contacts with the U.S. embassy in Mexico as “Completely frustrating. They’ve ignored me, promised to help and then not returned my phone calls.”

Many other MAP families will recognize Mr. Reinhard's frustration. As reported by the Seattle Times (because missing-abroad stories typically are only of interest to the victims' local media):

"Jenny Chen, a 26-year-old resident of Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood,…

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on May 20, 2016 at 9:16pm

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

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