BYU student 12 years missing in China; congressmen urge more investigation

Photos courtesy of Rep. Chris Stewart | St. George News

WASHINGTON — Rep. Chris Stewart and Sen. Mike Lee have introduced a concurrent resolution on behalf of David Sneddon, a Brigham Young University student who went missing in China in 2004. The resolution lays out the facts of Sneddon’s disappearance and asks the State Department and intelligence community to continue to investigate the case, specifically the possibility that the North Korean government may have abducted Sneddon.

Sneddon was last seen in 2004 hiking in western China. Chinese officials say he likely died while hiking, but there is no evidence of an accident, his body has never been found, and there are witnesses who claim they saw Sneddon after he finished hiking.

North Korean officials are known to operate in this particular region of China, and the Sneddon family, along with various experts in North Korean policy, believe that the North Korea government may have abducted David, using his language skills to train government officials and operatives. Sneddon is fluent in Korean, having lived in South Korea for two years while serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Even though it may be difficult, it’s the duty of the United States government to follow all leads to locate a missing citizen,” Stewart said. “The evidence indicates that there are still a lot of unanswered questions about David’s disappearance. David’s family deserves answers to those questions, and until we find those answers I will continue urging the State Department to pursue all possible explanations for David’s disappearance.”

“The first and most important responsibility of the United States government is to ensure the safety and freedom of the American people at home and abroad,” Lee said. “This includes investigating all plausible explanations behind David’s disappearance, and leaving no stone unturned in trying to return one of our brothers to his family. At the time of his disappearance, David had his whole life ahead of him. But in August 2004 it was tragically cut short. The Sneddon family deserves to know why.”

The resolution is co-sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch and by Reps. Rob Bishop, Jason Chaffetz and Mia Love.


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