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

Recent Cases Highlight Dangers to Tourists in Dominican Republic

A Florida tennis pro missing for months. An Oregon couple set up, jailed, and kept in the Third World country for 6 months.  Read full article.

Despite these and similar stories throughout the vacation "paradises" in the developing world,  The U.S. State Department of State still doesn't track or report on such incidents, despite the…


Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on August 29, 2016 at 8:07pm

Please Help an American Father Bring His Daughter Home Safely From the Philippines

4-year-old Rachel Edwin was brought to the Philippines by her mother, over the objections of her father, Elisha Edwin, who feared the mother would not bring her daughter back to the U.S. Mr. Edwin's objections were ignored by the court, and now Rachel is in a remote and dangerous part of the Philippines. Since the mother has exceeded by months the court-mandated date for returning her daughter to the U.S., Mr. Edwin has been awarded full custody of Rachel and is doing everything h…


Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on July 7, 2016 at 10:57pm

Jenny Chen & the Media's Hierarchy of Empathy

Anyone who has had a spouse, child, or sibling go missing abroad can tell you that the media are the tail that wags the government dog. Local authorities lack interest and resources to do much for a foreign family. If you can’t get mainstream-media play or go viral in social media, you are on your own.

Please take a moment to…


Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on July 4, 2016 at 8:16pm — 1 Comment

Progress Toward Finding Jenny Chen, Missing in Mexico; Financial Support Still Needed, Appreciated

Thanks in large part to assistance from volunteers on social media, Jonathan Reinhard reports that he is making progress in the search for his wife, Jenny Chen, who has been missing for more than 2 months in Mexico. Last seen accepting a ride from a Corona beer truck in Oaxaca, Mr. Reinhard has faced difficulties getting authorities and…


Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on June 14, 2016 at 8:55pm

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,…


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


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