A new report suggests that a 24-year-old American man presumed dead after going missing more than 12 years ago may actually be alive. David Sneddon went missing near the Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan, China, back in 2004. When investigators failed to find any evidence of his presence, local authorities proposed that he could have fallen to his death.
However, a media report published Friday alleged that Sneddon may have been kidnapped and taken to Pyongyang to work as an English tutor for current leader Kim Jong Un. Following the allegations, the U.S. State Department denied that there was any evidence confirming his kidnapping.
Yahoo News Japan published an article Wednesday alleging Sneddon had been spotted in North Korea living with his wife and two children and working as an English teacher, the Independent reported. U.S. State Department Spokesman John Kirby said, "The embassy in Beijing ... has been in regular, ongoing contact with the local authorities since David Sneddon was reported missing ... We continue to closely monitor this matter and we continue to raise it with Chinese authorities," CNN reported.
Sneddon’s parents, Roy and Kathleen, have never stopped searching for their son, making several trips to China and even petitioning the United States congress for further help finding more information on their child. Prior to his disappearance, Sneddon was working in Seoul, South Korea, as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also spoke fluent Korean and some Mandarin.
The Daily Mail reported that Sneddon was reported missing Aug. 26, 2004, when he failed to meet his brother at the airport in Seoul, South Korea. Although the Sneddon family remains optimistic about finding him, there has been no official confirmation that he is alive.