The Missing Americans Project

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All Blog Posts (669)

Female Remains - Possibly a Tourist - Found in Belize

Reported by a MAP member living in Belize:

"A body has been found in an advance state of decomposition.

"The morning of Friday 22 June, 2018, at about 6:24 a.m., police discovered the body of a female who was found dead on the beach in Hopkins Village. The Belize Police Department is seeking the assistance of the public in identifying the body of a female. She is of a clear complexion, with long blond hair, wearing at the time a khaki blouse with a waist band and a short green…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on June 23, 2018 at 2:40pm — No Comments

U.S. Family of 4, Missing in Mexico, Found Dead

A family of four that was reported missing overnight has been found dead in Mexico. The bodies of Kevin, Amy, Sterling and Adrianna Sharp were discovered Friday inside a condominium, CBS Des Moines affiliate KCCI reports

"Autopsies are being performed in Mexico and results are pending," the Creston Police Department said in a…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on March 24, 2018 at 6:01am — No Comments

Boater Missing After Leaving Dry Tortugas

A boater who sailed from Charlotte County is missing.

Benjamin Hartman left Charlot Harbor on Feb. 22 to sail to St. Augustine.

He was last seen on Feb. 27 when he left Dry Tortugas en route to Key West.

Hartman is sailing by himself on his 31-foot 1970 Kenner Sailboat that is blue and white. Its registration number is FL3831SK.

The Coast Guard is searching for Hartman and the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office has asked that anyone with information contact…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on March 22, 2018 at 7:43pm — No Comments

Search Underway for 3 Italians Detained by Mexican Police in Jalisco

Authorities are investigating the disappearance of three Italians who went missing after they were detained by police at a petrol station in Tecalitlán, Jalisco, on the Jan. 31. Friends and family marched in Naples, "demanding answers from the Mexican government."

The three men have been identified as Raffaele Russo, 60; his son Antonio Russo, 25, and his nephew Vincenzo Cimmino,…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on March 4, 2018 at 11:30am — No Comments

Explosive Attacks on Tourist Ferries in Mexico Lead to U.S. Travel Warning

On March 1, undetonated explosive devices were found by Mexican law enforcement on a tourist ferry that operates between Cozumel-Playa del Carmen, Mexico.  On February 21, an explosive device detonated on a tourist ferry in Playa del Carmen resulting in injuries, including to U.S. citizens.  U.S. Government employees are prohibited from using all tourist ferries on this route until further notice.  Mexican and U.S. law enforcement continue to investigate.…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on March 4, 2018 at 11:26am — No Comments

My Child Is Missing Abroad: What Do I Do Now?

Having a family member suddenly go missing is a terrifying experience; having this happen while your loved one is traveling in a foreign country compounds the fear with myriad complications.

What do you do when you get the phone call? Or, worse, when there is no call; when your traveling child or sibling or parent or friend, who has been diligently staying in touch throughout his or her trip, suddenly falls silent?…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on February 13, 2018 at 8:32am — No Comments

U.S. Issues New Warning for Nassau, Bahamas

The U.S. government has issued more crime warnings for the Bahamas than for all locations in the Caribbean. 

Violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assault is common, even during daylight hours and in tourist areas. U.S. government personnel are not permitted to visit the Sand Trap area in Nassau due to crime. Jet-ski operators are known to commit sexual assaults against tourists, including minors. As a result, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on February 10, 2018 at 6:46am — No Comments

U.S. State Department Rolls Out New Advisory Categories

If you’re planning on going to a country with a Level-4 warning, the U.S State Department suggests you draft your will and plan your funeral ahead of time.

It’s all part of their new system of travel advisories that rolled out on January 10, which ranks places on a scale of one to four with a corresponding color code.…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on February 2, 2018 at 4:09pm — No Comments

19 U.S. Visitors to Cuba Report Symptoms Similar to Those Suffered by Diplomats

Nineteen American citizens have reported symptoms similar to those suffered by U.S. diplomats who had been identified as victims of alleged attacks in Cuba.

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Added by Jeff Dunsavage on February 2, 2018 at 4:01pm — No Comments

Jamaica Travel Advisories: What You Need to Know

Several countries, including the U.S., have issued travel warnings in the wake of a spate of violent crimes in Jamaica. The warnings come after a series of violent incidents, including one in which a Canadian couple was…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on February 2, 2018 at 4:00pm — No Comments

5 Mexican States Receive Sternest U.S. Travel Advisories

Five states in Mexico now have the sternest "do not travel" advisories under a revamped U.S. State Department system, putting them on the same level as war-torn countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia. The five states are Tamaulipas on the U.S. border and Sinaloa, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero on the Pacific coast. All the states are hotspots of drug…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on February 2, 2018 at 3:56pm — No Comments

Mexico Murder Rate Highest in Decades, Govt Says

Mexico posted its highest homicide rate in decades, with the government reporting Sunday there were 29,168 murders in 2017, a 27 percent increase over 2016.

The number is the highest since comparable records began being kept in 1997 and is also higher than the peak year of Mexico’s drug war in 2011, when there were 27,213 killings. The Interior Department, which posted…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on January 25, 2018 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Mexican Marines Executed 3 U.S. Citizens, Govt Agency Finds

Three U.S. siblings found dead in Mexico in 2014 were executed by Mexican marines and a border mayor's paramilitary security team, the country's National Human Rights Commission said Thursday.

Erica Alvarado Salinas, 26, Alex Alvarado, 22, and Jose Angel Alvarado, 21, all U.S. citizens, disappeared in 2014 while visiting their father in El Control, a small town near Matamoros, a Mexican city in the dangerous state of Tamaulipas, across the border from Brownsville,…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on January 21, 2018 at 8:45pm — No Comments

U.S. State Department Issues Travel Warning for Belize

The U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory for Belize on Wednesday, January 10, warning American citizens to exercise caution when in the country. The advisory states that violent crime, such as sexual assault, armed robbery, and murder are common in Belize and local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on January 19, 2018 at 4:51pm — No Comments

Maligning the Missing, Murdered, Injured, Victimized, and Their Families

It never fails.

The moment an American or other foreigner comes to harm in an exotic locale, the first response of "community activists" is to undermine his/her story, to declare them unfit for public sympathy and their families unworthy of compassion and voluntary support.

My brother was alternately declared a CIA agent and a narco trafficker because, 72 hours too late to be helpful, we were able to get U.S. aircraft launched to assist in the search for him off the island of…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on January 18, 2018 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Costa Rica Murder Rate Hits Record High in 2017

Costa Rica recorded its highest-ever annual murder rate in 2017, authorities said this week, blaming score-settling between gangs and drug trafficking for the rise. 

The nation of about five million people, still considered one of the safest relative to others in Central America, saw 603 homicides last year, according to preliminary data from the police service responsible for investigating them. That works out to a rate of 12.1 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.



Added by Jeff Dunsavage on January 16, 2018 at 11:27am — No Comments

Terrifying ordeal; Happy Ending!!

In May of 2014 my step-daughter left the US to go to Mexico to be with an abusive boyfriend.  I didn't realize she was gone (I was recovering from bilateral hip replacement) until August when I couldn't contact her for weeks and weeks.  I stopped by her place and ultimately called the police to do a "wellness check" on her.  This is when I learned that she had left with her two daughters ages 2 1/2 and 5.

I found this site and Jeff Dunsavage was good enough to call me…


Added by Susan Evans on January 11, 2018 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

Wisconsin Man Recovering From Beating, Torture in Costa Rica

Ryan Messerschmidt, from Wisconsin, was tortured, stabbed and beaten -- attacked while on vacation in Costa Rica. He'd been missing for days, but his family has received word that he's alive. However, they said they're not convinced he's safe.

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Added by Jeff Dunsavage on January 11, 2018 at 9:00am — No Comments

Ryan Messerschmidt, Missing in Costa Rica, Found Alive

Thank you to all who provided assistance, ideas, and resources for Ryan's family!

Added by Jeff Dunsavage on January 10, 2018 at 4:37pm — No Comments

Missing in Costa Rica please help

please follow the link above. My friends brother was traveling alone in Costa Rica. He is now missing. She was sent a picture of him bloody and beaten and what she hopes is unconscious. However, all leads as to where he is have been dead ends. Trying to get the word out. Update: he has been found and was able to speak to his family. He was badly…


Added by Jaylene Stevenson on January 9, 2018 at 8:23pm — No Comments

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