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Nov 28, 2005

Missing man?s family returns to U.S. after search ends

Story PictureIt has been two weeks since American citizen and retired teacher sixty-eight year old John Dresp went missing at sea during a snorkelling tour at Shark and Ray Alley just off Caye Caulker. Dresp arrived in Belize on the “Norwegian Dream” cruise ship and with his brother and sister in law, Donald and Winifred Dresp, and fifty-five other guests boarded “Belize Pride” owned by Discovery Divers Limited. Minutes after entering the water, Dresp disappeared and has not been seen or heard from since. The incident is still being investigated to determine what happened and to establish whether anyone should be held responsible. A number of reports suggest that the weather conditions were far from ideal. The Dresp family stayed in Belize, vowing not to leave the country until their loved one’s body had been recovered. But last week the search for John Dresp was officially called off and tonight there is little hope that the missing man’s body will be found. Today, the Dresp family left Belize to meet with other family members in the U.S. where they will decide their next course of action. News Five caught up with Donald Dresp as he was about to board his flight at the Philip Goldson International Airport. Dresp says he found out the search for his brother had ended when he heard it on the news.

Donald Dresp, Brother of Missing Man
?No one from the Police Department had called us till Friday to tell us the search had been called off. We?ve been here in Belize thirteen days. I would stay another week because I?m not satisfied, my wife is very, very anxious to get home and very battle fatigued. We?re flying to Omaha and we?ll spend the next four days with my nieces and then we?ll eventually get home to Las Cruses. I?ve kept a journal of everyday from the day we left Houston, arrived in Houston on November eleventh. I have seventy-one pages in my journal that I will make available to my four nieces so they will know everything that happened to us on this cruise turned nightmare.?

Jacqueline Woods
?So what happens next, did you all seek legal representation??

Donald Dresp
?We have a lawyer, the American consulate?s Cindy Craig has been our best friend and I?ve told everyone I?ve talked to at the Belize travel bureau, I?ve asked to meet with the whole seven board members, if they call me I?ll fly back. I?ve asked for a complete, all transcripts in regards to my brother, I?ve asked for all the safety regulations for the industry. We will fly back immediately to get his body, because can you imagine what hell it is to go back home today and we don?t have his body after being here thirteen days.?

Dresp says they will continue to pray that at least his brother’s body will be found. In related news, the search for the five fishermen missing in southern waters has also been called off. It was believed the men had washed ashore in Honduras, but law enforcement officials there say none of the bodies recovered from those waters are Belizean. The men were aboard their skiff when it overturned near Pompion Caye. Three made it to shore, but the other five are believed to have drowned.

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