Monday, July 28, 2014

4 Ethiopian track team members missing from international meet in Eugene

(July 28, 2014, (Oregon live))--Four members of an Ethiopian track team were reported missing Saturday morning in Eugene where they competed in the IAAF World Junior Championships. "The individuals left campus ahead of the rest of the team," said Julie Brown, University of Oregon spokeswoman.

The Ethiopian region is under intense political upheaval, and athletes seeking asylum from unstable areas have historically used athletic tournaments to leave their country. Asked whether that was the case for the Ethiopians, Brown said she did not know why they left and could not confirm they were seeking asylum.

Brown said detectives are looking for the four but are not concerned for their safety. Rather, they want to make direct contact to confirm they are OK. "At this point we don't have reason to believe that these individuals are in harm's way," she said.

The University of Oregon Police Department is leading a missing persons investigation with assistance from the Eugene Police Department, and Brown said law enforcement agencies statewide have been notified. Read more from Oregon live »  

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