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

U.S. State Department Issues New Warning for Mexico Travel, Cites Increase in Kidnappings, Murders, Violent Robberies

The State Department report says 81 Americans were assassinated in Mexico last year, 10 more than in 2012, and an increase in kidnappings was noted in the states of Tamaulipas, Guerrero, Michoacán, Mexico and Morelos. During the first six months of this year the American embassy and consulates in Mexico received 70 reports of kidnappings of American citizens. Kidnappings were of the traditional kind, in which victims are physically removed from their surroundings, as well as “virtual,” in…

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on August 16, 2014 at 5:30pm

1 Arrest Made in Murder of Ed Moynan in Panama -- More Suspects at Large

Ludwig Vico Pereira, a 56-year-old Swiss national was arrested in the murder of Ed Moyan on Friday, Aug. 8.  Ludwig was in the Interpol list of wanted persons, as "Wanted by the Judicial Authorities of Panama’.

Ed Moyan was reported missing from his home in Coronado, Panama, since Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012.  In March 2013, a body found in a suitcase in Campana National Park was confirmed to be Ed’s remains. The authorities believe that Ludwig did not act alone. There might have…

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on August 11, 2014 at 2:26pm

American Reported Missing in Costa Rica

The Tico Times reports that a U.S. man  has been missing inside Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica's southwestern Osa Peninsula for more than two weeks.

Park rangers and a Red Cross rescue team are now searching for 27-year-old Alaska native Cody Dial, who goes by his middle name Roman and who is believed…

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on August 1, 2014 at 7:22pm

U.S. Teen Allegedly Raped in Costa Rica Declines to Press Charges

Inside Costa Rica reports that a 19-year-old U.S. woman who was allegedly raped by multiple attackers in La Fortuna de San Carlos over the weekend has refused to cooperate in prosecuting four…

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Posted by Jeff Dunsavage on July 16, 2014 at 7:56pm

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