US Diplomat Now Missing for 9 Days in Curacao
Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports that DNA research by The Netherlands Forensic Institute has confirmed that blood traces found on the island of Curacao are from the missing diplomat, James Hogan. “The latest statement issued by the Public Prosecutor's Office for the Dutch Antilles confirmed that blood traces found on clothing and on the ground nearby are a match for Mr Hogan, who went missing eight days ago. The local authorities announced that a mobile telephone had been found in the sea and was being investigated further.” The report also states that “the Curacao police have now set up an anonymous tip line for anyone with information about his disappearance.”
The Bonaire Reporter posted online a poster distributed in the Toni Kuchi area (see above) as well as a photo of Mr. Hogan that appears to be taken from an ESTA briefing in 2008. It repeats what has been reported earlier that “a large scale investigation on land and in the sea continues with equipment and manpower from Curaçao, the central government, the Netherlands and the US” and points that there had been little coverage given to this incident in the American press. The AP has covered the story here and here. The New York Times carried one of the AP stories yesterday here.
Asked for an update during the Daily Press Briefing yesterday [October 2: 12:50 EDT], the State Department had this to say:
MR. KELLY: Yeah. I think we were all concerned to see the press release of the authorities there regarding the clothes and cell phone that were found belonging to Mr. Hogan. I think you probably saw the press release from the Netherlands forensic service which confirmed that the blood traces found on the clothes were a DNA match for our colleague, Mr. Hogan. These clothes were found on the beach. And of course, we’re – as we always have been, we’re very concerned about the welfare of Mr. Hogan. This is obviously upsetting news. It’s not conclusive news. But we will continue to stay in close touch with the Netherlands forensic service and with the Curacao police.
Radio Netherlands Worldwide: Missing US Vice Consul (see link here) [Listen to Netherlands Antilles' correspondent Rene Roodheuvel]Update on 10/4: October 3 AP update on this story is here (Filed at 3:53 p.m. ET).