The Missing Americans Project

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Suspect in Roatan Murder Begs Australian Partner to Come Forward

Jisoo Han, a Korean woman awaiting trial over the death of Dutch schoolteacher Mariska Mast in Roatan, Honduras, has pleaded for Australian Dan Ross to save her from spending the rest of her life in a Honduran jail. Han, under house arrest in Honduras, proclaimed her innocence yesterday and said she still had no idea what happened the night 23-year-old Mast died. Read full story.

Ross was questioned by police in Roatan after Mast's death in August 2008, when he was a dive instructor there. Mast had gone to his apartment but the next morning Ross and Han brought a severely injured Mast to hospital, where she died.

In August, Dutch TV crime reporter Peter R de Vries, 53, and his colleague Chantal van Schuylenburgh, 43, were arrested in Autstralia for trying to talk to Ross. Read full story.

Murders of foreigners in Roatan are on the rise, according to the Bay Islands Voice newspaper. In addition, there have been several disappearances of foreigners in the region in the past year, including Joe Dunsavage and Leo Finley (U.S.), Maurilio Mirabella and Luca Pagliaro (Italy), Earl and Joseph Garbutt (Belize), and Ron Scheepstra (U.S. - Ron disappeared from Xcalak, Mexico, near enough to Roatan that he and his fishing buddies were using Roatan tide charts). Of the disappearances known by the Missing Americans Project to have occurred since April 2009, most were concentrated around Roatan and the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. In all of these cases, the families have struggled to get government or media attention for their cases - so perhaps the rising profile of the Mast case will help.

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