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

North Carolina Teacher Missing in Mexico City

Thirty-four-year-old Patrick Braxton-Andrew,a Charlotte, N.C., Spanish teacher has gone missing in Mexico.

He was  supposed to meet his brother, Kerry, in Mexico City on Tuesday, according to a message from their father that the college posted on its alumni Facebook page.

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on November 1, 2018 at 8:12pm

New York Attorney Murdered While Vacationing in Turks and Caicos

The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands police are investigating the murder of an American tourist after her body was discovered near a popular vacation destination. Marie Kuhnla, a 61-year-old attorney from Wantagh, New York, had been traveling with two colleagues who also worked at Suffolk County Legal Aid in Long Island.

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on October 26, 2018 at 4:01pm

New Hampshire Man, Missing in Guatemala, Believed Murdered

A Tamworth man, NH, man who was reported missing during a trip to Guatemala may have been murdered and will probably not be found, his family reported via their Go Fund Me account. The family says their search is over.

Justin Booska, 27, has been missing from Laguna de Ayarza, Guatemala since Jan. 6. He had been in the central American country with friends and family for a vacation. Until going there earlier this month, the family had  believed he might have drown when he tried to swim across Lake Ayarza.

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on October 18, 2018 at 9:26pm

Update on Murder of Tom Cook in Jaco, Costa Rica

A Vermonter living in Costa Rica was found dead last week after being reported missing back in August, now his family is frustrated by what they say has been a slow investigation by authorities, WCAX in South Burlington reports.

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on October 17, 2018 at 8:26pm

Remains of Tom Cook -- Vermont Retiree, Missing in Costa Rica -- Identified

Sometimes closure is all we can hope for. In these cases, success is necessarily bittersweet.

Last week, the earthly remains of Thomas Cook – a Vermont retiree living in Jaco, Costa Rica, and missing for more than six weeks – were positively identified. I won’t provide any details here, other to say foul play was clearly involved.

Having launched MAP following the loss of my brother Joe Dunsavage in Roatan, Honduras, and not having had the small comfort of a body to bring home and bury according to custom and ceremony, I’m gratified to have been able to help Tom’s family get to this point.

Please join me in offering condolences to Tom’s family and in thanking our contacts in Costa Rica -- who, for their safety’s sake, prefer not to be identified. They were indispensable in helping us…

Continue

Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on October 14, 2018 at 11:11am

Missing Surfer Adam "Biff" D'Esposito Found Dead in Baja, MX

Carlsbad surfer Adam Francis D'Esposito, 39, who went missing three weeks ago, has been found dead in Northern Baja, Mexico, according to the D’Esposito’s family. A local news channel has reported drowning as the cause of death.

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on October 2, 2018 at 8:30pm

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    Latest Activity

    Jeff Dunsavage posted a blog post

    North Carolina Teacher Missing in Mexico City

    Thirty-four-year-old Patrick Braxton-Andrew,a Charlotte, N.C., Spanish teacher has gone missing in…See More
    Nov 1
    Jeff Dunsavage posted a blog post

    New York Attorney Murdered While Vacationing in Turks and Caicos

    The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands police are investigating the murder of an American tourist after…See More
    Oct 26
    Joan Starr is now a member of The Missing Americans Project
    Oct 21
    Profile IconDavid A.Betts and Allison Dillen joined The Missing Americans Project
    Oct 19
    Jeff Dunsavage posted a blog post

    New Hampshire Man, Missing in Guatemala, Believed Murdered

    A Tamworth man, NH, man who was reported missing during a trip to Guatemala may have been murdered…See More
    Oct 18
    Jeff Dunsavage posted a blog post

    Remains of Tom Cook -- Vermont Retiree, Missing in Costa Rica -- Identified

    Sometimes closure is all we can hope for. In these cases, success is necessarily bittersweet.…See More
    Oct 14
    Marian Aamodt updated their profile
    Oct 13
    Lynn Demler updated their profile
    Oct 13
    Casey Shehi is now a member of The Missing Americans Project
    Oct 13
    Angelica Martinez is now a member of The Missing Americans Project
    Oct 9
    Jeff Dunsavage posted a blog post

    Missing Surfer Adam "Biff" D'Esposito Found Dead in Baja, MX

    Carlsbad surfer Adam Francis D'Esposito, 39, who went missing three weeks ago, has been found dead…See More
    Oct 2
    Jeff Dunsavage posted blog posts
    Sep 26
    Yoli is now a member of The Missing Americans Project
    Sep 24
    Maria Weir is now a member of The Missing Americans Project
    Sep 21

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