David Sneddon, a student at Brigham Young University in Utah, who got missing in the Yunnan Province in western China when he was 24 in 2004, may have been kidnapped by the North Korean government.
Sneddon whose body was never found was presumed dead while hiking in Tiger Leaping Gorge near the Jinsha River on August 14, 2004.
According to a report on Wednesday in Yahoo News Japan, Sneddon had been spotted in North Korea, where he is believed to live. He reportedly works as an English teacher, and has a wife and two children.
The US Department of State announced Wednesday that they will begin searching for Mr Sneddon in North Korea.
Choi Sun-yong, who heads the Abductees’ Family Union, said a source revealed Sneddon had in fact been kidnapped by North Korean operatives, and worked as an English tutor for Kim Jong-un who was heir to the country’s dictatorship as of that time.
Roy and Kathleen, Sneddon’s parents, never believed the official story that their son had died falling into a river.
Knowing North Korea’s reputation for kidnapping foreigners, they believed the Kim regime sought out their son for his fluency in Korean – which he used during his time spent as a Mormon missionary in South Korea – and snatched him for their own purposes.