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Lynnfield Native Karen Colclough Missing in Nicaragua

Colclough was in the country on a religious mission.

Karen Colclough. Credit: Find Karen Colclough Facebook page
Karen Colclough. Credit: Find Karen Colclough Facebook page
A Lynnfield native on a religious mission in Nicaragua has gone missing.

Karen Colclough was last seen Friday.

She's a member of Argos International, which helps poor families in rural Latin America.

The following is a statement from Argos on her disappearance:

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Agros is very sorry to report that a service team member has gone missing. Karen Colclough, with five others from the Presbyterian Church of Jackson Hole, WY have been in Nicaragua for a week working in Tierra Nueva. In addition to the Agros staff in Nicaragua, the six service team members were accompanied by two Agros staff from the Seattle headquarters.

On Friday, the group's work was completed and as is the usual custom with Agros trips, the team had assembled for an end-of-trip debrief at the Barcelo Montelimar, a beach resort near Montelimar, Nicaragua. Montelimar is 62km/38 miles southwest of Managua. There were no scheduled work sessions or activities that day; the group planned to meet for dinner that evening.

Volunteer Karen Colclough checked in with staff to say she was going for a run on the beach, and did not return to connect with the team for dinner as planned. Karen is described as 5’7” tall, with a medium build and shoulder-length brown hair. She was wearing a red t-shirt with a white flower on the front, and a Guatemalan-styled skirt in grey, orange, and purple stripes. She had black flip-flops. She speaks only English.

A short time ago, Agros' founder (Skip Li) and Board Chairman (Paul Moulton) arrived in Managua. They have a meeting with the US Ambassador to Nicaragua at her residence about an hour from now. Skip Li grew up in a family of diplomats and knows the international relations process extremely well. They will be joined by Anne Baunach from Agros who is enroute from the hotel to Managua. Anne has been coordinating activities on the ground and so will be able to give the best operational view.

We learned this morning that the US Embassy's Director of Security is vacationing at a location close to the Barcelo. He has been with the team today, working with the Nicaragua National Police and the Red Cross, both organizations that have provided the most comprehensive response.

Don Manning, CEO at Agros, is in Jackson Hole to support and coordinate with Karen's friends and the pastors of the Presbyterian Church. Don has also been in phone contact with Karen's parents and will continue to keep them appraised.

In concert with the Nicaraguan National Police, the Nicaraguan Army, and the Nicaraguan Red Cross, we have received the following support in the search:

* Foot searches in the immediate area
* Horseback searches 
* ATV searches where the vehicles are useful
* SCUBA rescue teams from the Red Cross, which today are being supplemented by additional boats
* A K-9 Unit from the Nicaraguan Army has been onsite.
* The area immediately close to the hotel has been posted with flyers.
* Clinics and hospitals in the area have been contacted with a picture and description of Karen in the case she was taken there.
* The Nicaraguan National Police - the main security department - has been very active in search activities, and their top leader has been in contact and working with the US Embassy
* The Red Cross is the other main organization that has been very responsive and has organized the on- and under-water search efforts.
* The Director of Security from World Vision is also on the ground in Nicaragua and has been instrumental in activating national resources. You probably know that World Vision is one of the largest international relief organizations in the world, with a very sophisticated security team.

We have issued press releases to both Nicaraguan and U.S. media outlets, encouraging anyone with information to contact us. We encourage everyone to share information on their Facebook pages, websites, and by any other means - the more information available, the better.

Going forward, we plan regular updates on the Agros Facebook (here) and our website: www.agros.org 

We are all focused on one goal: Karen's quick, safe return to family and friends, a goal I know you all share with us. Our prayers and intentions are with Karen, her family and friends.

mark April 14, 2014 at 10:40 AM
Why would anybody want to even go to a disgusting place like that? It's bad enough those people are sneaking into our country!

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