The parents of an American college student who disappeared in China in 2004 said they are convinced their son was kidnapped by the North Korean regime to teach English and is alive inside the Hermit Kingdom — citing a plethora of circumstantial evidence collected over the years indicating an abduction.
David Sneddon, a 24-year-old student at Brigham Young University, was last seen in August 2004 hiking through China’s Yunnan Province.
His parents, as well as sources inside Japan and South Korea, believe Sneddon a devout Mormon fluent in Korean who would be 37 now was kidnapped by North Korean agents to serve as an English tutor, possibly to Kim Jong Un, the nation’s dictator.
“We want him home,” Sneddon’s mother, Kathleen, told Fox News this week.
“David was taken for a purpose, to help with English,” Sneddon and husband Roy said Monday from their home in Logan, Utah. “We will never stop looking for him.”
The family’s comments come shortly after the death of Otto Warmbier, another American college student.
Warmbier was released by North Korea after more than a year in captivity, accused of stealing a propaganda poster. He was serving a sentence of hard labor.
He was let go on June 12 and flown to the U.S. in a vegetative state. Warmbier died days later at a Cincinnati hospital.
The Chinese government claims Sneddon an experienced traveler who had served as a missionary in South Korea plunged to his death while backpacking through Tiger Leaping Gorge and drowned.
But Sneddon’s body was never found and his family members several of whom retraced his footsteps do not believe China’s explanation.
“There’s no evidence of that zero,” said Kathleen Sneddon, noting her son is the “only American missing in China since World II whose body has not been found and whose whereabouts remain unknown.”