Ethiopian Athletes Missing
5:25 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Four Ethiopian Athletes Missing After World Junior Championships

Update 7/29 8:38 A.M. from the Associated Press: University of Oregon police have found three of the four members of the Ethiopian track team who were reported missing from the World Junior Championships in Eugene over the weekend.

The Oregonian reports that police on Monday said officers found three of the four athletes staying with acquaintances in Beaverton. Officers found a 17-year-old Amanuel Abebe Atibeha, as well as Dureti Edao and Meaza Kebede, who are both 18-year-old women.

Police say 18-year-old Zeyituna Mohammed, who placed sixth in the women's 800-meter run, is still being treated as missing.

Spokeswoman Kelly McIver says police don't believe Mohammed is in danger but they can't clear the missing person case until they have positive confirmation that she's safe.

The runners were reported missing from the campus on Saturday.

Originally reported: A group of Ethiopian athletes in Eugene for the World Junior Track & Field Championships have been missing since Saturday.

The World Junior Track and Field Championships were held in Eugene, Ore. on Saturday.
The World Junior Track and Field Championships were held in Eugene, Ore. on Saturday.
Credit Angel / Flickr

The University of Oregon Police Department is leading the search for the three women and a 17-year-old boy. They're part of a 30-member team from Ethiopia.

"We have heard second and third hand, so indirectly from others, that the four athletes are safe and that they are with family and friends in other parts of the state,” U of O spokeswoman Julie Brown said. “So at this point we don't have any reason to believe that they are in harm's way."

Brown says that despite speculation, it also has not been confirmed if the athletes are seeking asylum.

The U of O Police Department is getting assistance from Eugene and Portland police and the FBI in its missing persons investigation.

The World Junior Championships drew athletes from more than 160 countries. The event wrapped up Sunday at Hayward Field in Eugene.

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