Two US students missing in Trinidad and Tobago


The US State Department is looking into the disappearance of two American college students who were vacationing in Trinidad and Tobago, CNN reported yesterday. The two were expected to return to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, at the start of the week but never appeared. The university sent an e-mail to all its students Wednesday, saying the two undergraduates, whom it did not name, had not returned from spring break.

“We want you to know that the Division of Campus Life and Student Services is working with family, friends, law enforcement officials, and other agencies to locate the students,” the e-mail said. A spokesman for the university, Mark Nickel, give no details about the students, including who they are or where they come from. The State Department has confirmed that it has launched what it calls a “welfare and whereabouts” inquiry. Spokesman Robert Wood said in a briefing yesterday, “We are looking into the situation.”

He said, “Out of privacy concerns, I don’t really have much I can say at this point about it, but we are looking into the situation with regard to these two in Trinidad.” The State Department also declined to release their names. In similar past cases, the State Department first obtained details about the missing people and their itinerary from family and friends. Then officials of the department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security made contact with local police to pursue the case.

The State Department Web site warns travellers to the republic to be on guard and says violent crime has been steadily on the rise there. “Violent crimes, including assault, kidnapping for ransom, sexual assault and murder have involved foreign residents and tourists, including US citizens,” the department said. “The perpetrators of many these crimes have not been arrested,” it stated. The university’s newspaper The Brown Daily Herald first reported the incident in its Thurday’s edition. (CNN)