American Student Who Vanished in 2004 Thought to be in North Korea


A 24 year old American University student who vanished in China in 2004 and was presumed dead by many, is thought to be alive.

David Sneddon before his disappearance. Photo Credit – helpfinddavid.

Already fluent in Korean, the then 24 year-old Brigham Young University student and former missionary from Utah, who was studying in China in order to become fluent in Mandarin, is thought to have disappeared around 14th August 2004. At the time of his disappearance the Chinese government issued a statement in which they said they believed he had died while exploring a canyon when hiking in Tiger Leaping Gorge, but his body was never found.

But hopes have been reignited, after reports from a Japanese news agency indicate that Sneddon may in fact be alive. Choi Sung-yong, president of the Abductees’ Family Union in South Korea, has stated sources in North Korea believe Sneddon, who would now be around the age of 36, is currently married to a North Korean woman with whom he has two children.

It is reported that Sneddon works as an English tutor and that his abduction may have been related to the North Korean president himself, as Kim Jong-un is reported to have been a former student of his.

The government of Japan appears to have taken great interest in Sneddon’s case on behalf of the many missing Japanese citizens who were also likely abducted by North Korea. On Wednesday, the US Department of State announced that they will begin searching for Mr Sneddon in North Korea.


Law student at the University of Southampton.

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