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Entries in Missing (38)

Wednesday
May092012

Russian Jet Missing After Falling Off Radar in Indonesia

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- Authorities fear a Russian passenger jet has crashed in Indonesia after it fell off radar screens while it was on a test flight near Jakarta.

The Sukhoi Superjet-100 was carrying at least 44 people and vanished from detection after the pilot requested permission to descend from 10,000 feet to 6,000 feet.  The Russian news agency RIA Novasti reported that the plane was last seen turning toward a tall mountain range south of Jakarta.

Olga Kayukova, a spokeswoman for the United Aircraft Corporation, which owns Sukhoi, said in a statement posted on Facebook that the plane had been checked properly prior to take-off.  She confirmed that air traffic control lost contact with the plane about 20 minutes into the flight.

“We are carrying out search operations, set up operational headquarters,” she wrote.

According to a Russian blogger, search operations began using helicopters, but had to turn back due to bad weather.  A search party has set out on land, but has not yet found the plane.

The plane was part of a pair that were reportedly on a six country swing through Asia where it was being demonstrated for potential customers, including government and military officials.  They had already been to Myanmar, Pakistan and Kazakhstan.  They were to travel to Laos and Vietnam next.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb072012

Search Continues for Philippines Quake Survivors

Hemera/Thinkstock(MANILA, Philippines) -- Rescue teams were out again Tuesday in central Philippines, searching for survivors of the 6.7-magnitude earthquake that struck the region the day before.

At least 71 people have been reported missing after Monday's tremor, which left 22 people dead and 52 others injured, according to the country's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The earthquake hit Negros Island just before noon, damaging roads and triggering landslides that flattened homes.

Search crews have been scouring the area for any signs of life, while operations are underway to get water and food to remote villages.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan172012

Rescuers Blast Holes in Italian Cruise Ship's Hull; Second Recorder Found

ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty ImagesUPDATE: Italian media reported Tuesday morning that five more bodies were found, bringing the cruise ship's death toll to 11 and, consequently, lowering the number of those missing to 24.

(GIGLIO, Italy) -- Search and rescue divers have now blasted holes in the hull of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground off of the coast of Tuscany to aid their frantic search for 29 unaccounted for passengers and crew members.

A top coast guard official, Marco Brusco, said on state TV late Monday that 25 passengers and four crew members have not been found in the wreckage of the ship, including one five-year-old girl.

Rescue teams searching for survivors blasted through the vessel's hull Tuesday, creating large holes for better access to lower decks of the ship.

Navy spokesman Alessandro Busonero told Sky TV 24 the micro-charges set early Tuesday created four openings to allow divers, "to enter easily for the search."

Operations are now in motion to retrieve a second black box recorder that has been located in the wreckage, Warrant Petty Officer Massimo Macaroni of the Italian Coast Guard told ABC News.  The device, along with another recorder that's been found will be analyzed by prosecutors and provide authorities with, "a complete picture of how the disaster unfolded," CNN reported.

The number of people reported missing continues to fluctuate, as the coast guard said all but 16 people -- including a couple from Minnesota -- had been accounted for.  The official number rose after officials in other countries had reported higher numbers of missing citizens.

On Tuesday, La Stampa newspaper reported six bodies have been recovered and that rescuers saw a seventh body, but couldn't reach it; La Stampa is the only Italian media outlet reporting this, while Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera is still reporting that only six bodies have been recovered.

The U.S. Embassy in Rome estimates 120 Americans were on board the ship and 118 have been accounted for.  The nationalities of the unaccounted for are: six Italians, 14 Germans, four French, one Hungarian, two Americans, one Indian and one Peruvian.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan172012

Italian Cruise Ship Wreck: Missing Grows to 29

STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images(GIGLIO, Italy) -- The number of people missing in the Italian cruise ship wreck has been increased to 29, the Italian coast guard said late Monday.

A top coast guard official, Marco Brusco, said on state TV that 25 passengers and four crew members have not been found.

The increased number of missing threatens to eventually boost the fatality count from the capsized ship.  At the moment, at least six people are confirmed dead.

The discouraging announcement came after the coast guard had said all but 16 people -- including a couple from Minnesota -- had been accounted for.  The official number rose after officials in other countries had reported higher numbers of missing citizens.

The search for survivors was still under way Monday as night fell, even though some officials said that the possibility of finding passengers and crew still alive three days after the vessel ran aground near the small island of Giglio grew slim.

"The hopes of finding any more survivors are fading," Sergio Ortelli, the mayor of Giglio, told The Sun on Monday.

Francesco Schettino, the ship's captain, is being detained and questioned on allegations of manslaughter and abandoning the ship.  He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

Rescue efforts had been halted for about three hours earlier in the day because the huge vessel sits on a 120-foot ledge and had shifted slightly as the water got rough.  Officials feared the ship could be pushed off the ledge into water that is 224 feet deep.

Officials, however, told ABC News on Monday that it had moved only about 1.5 centimeters and resumed their search for bodies and possible survivors.

The Costa Concordia was carrying 4,234 passengers and crew when it hit rocks Friday evening near Giglio, off the coast of Tuscany.  Investigators say the ship was "incredibly close," about 450 feet from the shore.

At a news conference Monday, Costa Cruises chief executive officer Pier Luigi Foschi said the ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, had made an unapproved, unauthorized maneuver to change the ship's programmed course.

It's unclear why the ship was so close to shore.  Early reports said that Schettino often brought the ship near island's port so passengers could take photographs.  Italian media on Monday, however, reported that he drew near the shore so he could wave to a friend who was on land.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec062011

Woman Disappears from US Air Base in Japan

U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class JustinVeazie(OKINAWA, Japan) -- An international search is underway for Kelli Cribbs Abad, an American mother of two from Georgia who disappeared from a U.S. Air Force base more than a month ago.

Abad, who is stationed at the Kadena Air Base near Okinawa with her Air Force husband and children, was last seen leaving the gate of the base on Oct 26. Investigators found her abandoned sport utility vehicle about 10 miles from the base.

Abad has two young children -- a 4-year-old daughter and a 22-month-old son -- and has been living in Okinawa with her husband for three years. U.S. and Japanese authorities have searched the area by land, air and sea with divers, helicopters and boats. They’ve also searched nearby caves and cliffs, but haven’t found a trace of the young mother in the rugged terrain.

Abad’s mother Janice Cribbs flew to Japan from Georgia to help in the search. She recorded a desperate appeal for her daughter’s safe return, holding a flyer with a tip line, and posted the video online. She’s also set up a Facebook page, hoping for clues or suggestions.

Friends of Abad, who are stateside, can’t believe she would leave her children.  Melissa Banks was stationed with her husband at the same base and knew the Abads.

“She’s a very good mother,” Banks said. “I remember giving her maternity clothes before she was even pregnant. She wanted another child that badly. So I don’t think she would have left her children because she was just a wonderful mother.”

Abad is 5’7" with sandy blonde hair. Her face has appeared on missing person flyers attached to poles and bus stops across the military base and at Japanese police stations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec012011

Aruba Suspect Gary Giordano Tells His Story to ABC News

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Gary Giordano adamantly denied many of the allegations against him in the disappearance of Robyn Gardner while they were on vacation in Aruba, defiantly telling ABC's Good Morning America on Thursday that much of the information about the disappearance has been wrong.

"I'll interview myself, if you don't mind," Giordano said in the exclusive interview -- his first since being released from an Aruban prison.  "There are hard questions, like 'he took her to a remote location' on the island.  But we were 100 yards from a scuba diving store with tanks in back.  It was not a 'remote location.'  We were in view of other people at Baby Beach."

Giordano was released Tuesday night from the jail where he had been kept for four months as the sole suspect in Gardner's disappearance. During that time, Aruban prosectors reported that much of Giordano's story about the disappearance didn't add up.

"Me 'escaping' from the island has been extremely misreported," Giordano said.

When asked whether he was drinking heavily the day of Gardner's disappearance, Giordano said he had never heard that claim.

He also explained why he contacted the insurance company just two days after Gardner's disappearance to inquire about a $1.5 million travel insurance policy he had taken out on Gardner.

"My lawyer at the time, Michael Lopez, said you need to call insurance immediately.  Helicopters and divers might send you an invoice. Call insurance and ask them how they deal with these expenses," Giordano said. Giordano also pointed to a Dutch travel guide about the island, which he says specifically advises tourists to call their insurance company after they contact the police in the event a travel companion goes missing.

Gardner, 35, disappeared on Aug. 2, at the beginning of a week-long vacation with Giordano, whom she met on a swinger's website. Giordano, 50, told police that the pair went snorkeling around 6 p.m., and when he turned around, Gardner was gone, swept out to sea.

Prosecutors have said they don't believe Giordano's story but have not found Gardner's body, a weapon, or a motive for her murder.

Giordano's U.S. attorney Jose Baez said his client will return to Aruba if ordered to by authorities.  Prosecutors said they will seek his extradition if they can bring formal charges against Giordano.

Speaking also to Good Morning America on Thursday, Baez said "there's a mountain of nothing" connecting his client to Gardner's disappearance.

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Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep142011

Natalee Holloway's Dad Wants Her Declared Legally Dead

Joran van der Sloot, the man suspected of killing Natalee Holloway. Sebastian Silva/AFP/Getty Images(ORANJESTAD, Aruba) -- Natalee Holloway's father has served papers on her mother seeking to have the teenager, who disappeared during a senior class trip to Aruba in 2005, declared legally dead.

Court papers obtained by ABC News indicate that on April 19, 2011, Dave Holloway signed papers seeking a "petition for presumption of death for persons missing for more than five years."  Natalee Holloway vanished on May 30, 2005, more than six years ago, at age 17.

The request was actually filed in probate court on June 21.  The court documents state that a hearing on the father's request is scheduled for Sept. 23.

The missing teen's mother, Beth Holloway, spoke briefly to ABC News and said she does not intend to agree to have her daughter declared legally dead.

"No, I want to get to the bottom of what's going on from Dave," she said.

Dave Holloway could not immediately be reached for comment.

Beth Holloway has been relentless in her efforts to find out what happened to her daughter, even slipping into a Peruvian prison to confront Joran van der Sloot, the Aruban man suspected of killing Natalee.

At one point, she agreed to a sting, seemingly complying with van der Sloot's demand for cash in exchange for information about the location of her daughter's body.  The transaction was monitored by Aruban authorities, but van der Sloot left the island before the FBI filed extortion charges.

Before van der Sloot could be arrested on extortion, he was arrested in Peru and charged with killing a woman, Stephany Flores Ramirez, on May 30, 2010, the fifth anniversary of Natalee's disappearance.  He has been in a Peruvian prison since.

Natalee Holloway was on the last day of a graduation trip to Aruba with her senior class at Mountain Brook High School in Alabama when she did not return to her hotel.  She was last seen in a car with several people that included van der Sloot.

Extensive searches were carried out on the island and surrounding waters, often with Beth Holloway pleading publicly for someone to come forward and hectoring officials to keep on searching.  The case was closed by Aruba police in 2007, but reopened in 2008 after van der Sloot was caught on video telling someone that he disposed of her body.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep122011

Surveillance Video Shows Robyn Gardner, Gary Giordano on Beach

ABC News(ORANJESTAD, Aruba) -- Surveillance video from the day before tourist Robyn Gardner vanished in Aruba shows her and the prime suspect in her disappearance walking the same stretch of beach from which she would vanish a day later.

Gardner, 35, has been missing since Aug. 2.  Gary Giordano, who is being held in an Aruban jail, has told authorities that the two went snorkeling and the Maryland woman got swept out to sea.  The two were in the midst of a week-long trip to the Caribbean and had met on an online swingers' website.

The surveillance video, obtained exclusively by ABC News, shows the travel companions at the beach on Aug. 1.

The twosome's rented Toyota Rav-4 is visible, and grainy video shows Giordano of Gaithersburg, Md., and Gardner walking near the restaurant where the two would share one final meal the next day.  They are walking on the beach at around 3:41 p.m. -- about the same time she would disappear Aug. 2.  Gardner is wearing the same printed sundress she wore the day she vanished.

ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams said the video could show that the suspect was preparing to carry out a crime in Gardner's disappearance.

"You've also got the possibility now that he may have been casing it the day before so all of these pieces together are going to lead investigators in their minds to believe they have a right guy," Abrams said.

Giordano was ordered to stay in an Aruban jail for another 60 days last week but has yet to be charged with a crime.

"They [Aruban investigators] have enough evidence to convict him in the court of public opinion and not in the court of law," Abrams said.  "After another 60 days, how much more evidence are they going to be able to find.  The key question is are they going to be able to find a body.  That is the break-or-make issue."

Two pictures taken on a BlackBerry the day Gardner vanished reveal the couple at the same restaurant, Rum Reef Bar & Grill in the Baby Beach area, at around 4 p.m.  Giordano, 50, is wearing khaki shorts, a black shirt and white sneakers.  Two hours later, around 6:15 p.m., Giordano is seen on video alone near the restaurant.  He's now wearing printed swim trunks and is shirtless.  He is still wearing his white sneakers.

Witnesses have previously described him as eerily calm in the initial hours after Gardner vanished and that his clothes weren't dripping with water like he'd been frantically searching for someone.  They also told investigators that they saw blood on the beach and that Giordano had a cut on his throat.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep022011

FBI Seeking Help in Aruba Missing Woman Case?

ABC News(ORANJESTAD, Aruba) -- The FBI is frustrated by the lack of cooperation from Aruban authorities in its investigation of Gary Giordano, the prime suspect in the disappearance of Maryland woman Robyn Gardner.

American agents working on the case are struggling to get information from authorities in Aruba and are considering enlisting the help of international diplomatic channels to try to increase the cooperation with the country's officials.

Meanwhile, Giordano, who earlier this week was ordered to remain in jail for another 60 days, is now planning an appeal of his incarceration.  A judge in Aruba extended his imprisonment as police continue to conduct their investigation.

The 50-year-old suspect is the last person who was seen with Gardner, 35, since she went missing on Aug. 2.  He has yet to be charged with a crime.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug312011

Aruba Judge Keeps Gary Giordano in Jail 60 More Days in Robyn Gardner Case

Handout Photo(ORANJESTAD, Aruba) -- A judge in Aruba ordered Gary Giordano, the lone suspect in the disappearance of Maryland woman Robyn Gardner, to remain in jail for another 60 days while police press their investigation.

Gardner has been missing since Aug. 2. She was last seen at a restaurant with Giordano, the prime suspect in her disappearance. He is in an Aruban jail, but has not been charged with a crime.

Gardner's mother, Andrea Colson, issued a statement after the judge's ruling, saying, "We have faith and confidence in the Aruban Authorities and FBI, and know that they will fervently continue their efforts to find Robyn."

"This has been such a difficult time for all of us and your prayers have given us strength. We need to find our daughter. We pray that anyone who knows what happened that day will find the strength to contact authorities immediately. And we continue to ask everyone to keep praying for our Robyn so that she will be found soon," the statement said.

The Aruba prosecutor's office issued a statement urging "people who can give any information about the suspect...to contact the Aruban Police in person or via the special tip line 11141. Persons who want to volunteer information from outside of Aruba are asked to make use of the number 297-582-0695."

Earlier Wednesday, ABC News reported that Giordano and Gardner met online on the website "Adult Friend Finder," which describes itself as "the world's largest sex and swinger personals community," Gardner's friend told Aruban investigators.

ABC News reviewed witness statements given to Aruban investigators by Gardner's family and friends. A female friend of Gardner told investigators that Giordano, 50, and Gardner, 35, had previously planned a vacation together but Gardner backed out because of Giordano's "scary behavior."

Since Gardner disappeared, Giordano moved to redeem a reportedly $1.5 million insurance policy on Gardner. Witnesses and an Aruban Police report described him as uncooperative with investigators and eerily calm about Gardner's disappearance.

The witness statements also reveal more about Gardner. A friend and family member told police she was a "sneaky drinker," according to the witness statement.

Police also found Ambien, the sleep medication, prescribed to Gardner in the Marriott Hotel room where she was staying with Giordano. Giordano told police that he saw Gardner take a sleeping pill the day he claims they went snorkeling and she never returned.

Witnesses who saw Gardner the day she vanished described her as drunk and woozy.

The family member who told police she drank heavily said she was close to confronting Gardner about her allegedly excessive drinking.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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