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US man missing in Namibia found dead

06 January 2015, 07:57

Windhoek - The body of a US citizen who went missing at Namibia's border with Angola on New Year's Eve was found after a four-day search on Monday, police said.

"The body of John Petersen, 24, was found in the Kunene River on Monday," the Namibian Police (NamPol) said in a statement.

He went swimming in the river with friends on New Year's Eve and disappeared in the water.

A Sapa correspondent reported that on New Year's Day professional divers and a helicopter scoured the remote area, near the Epupa waterfalls in north-western Namibia, home to the nomadic Himba tribe.

The body of Petersen, a US Peace Corps volunteer in Namibia, was found 15km south from where he went missing. His body was taken to Oshakati for a post mortem.

Peace Corps director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said Petersen had been an "exceptional Peace Corps volunteer of great integrity" who poured his heart and soul into building relationships with his Namibian community so he could make a difference.

"We are devastated by his loss, and the thoughts and prayers of the entire Peace Corps community are with the Petersen family during this difficult time," Hessler-Radelet in a statement on Monday, which was distributed via the US Embassy in Windhoek.

He is survived by his parents and an older brother.

Peterson was from Westborough in Massachusetts and a former boy scout with camping and backpacking experience.

Four days before his death, Peterson posted an account of his earlier hiking trip to Namibia's highest mountain, the Brandberg, on his internet blog.



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