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Aug 26, 1998

British volunteer missing since Monday

In the south of the country hundreds of volunteers and security personnel are combing the area around Red Bank Village in search of a British woman missing since Monday. Twenty-seven year old Anna Lightfoot is a volunteer with the British based charitable organization Raleigh International, who was working on the construction of a new school. She disappeared around three o’clock Monday afternoon. News Five’s Stewart Krohn spoke to Raleigh Expedition leader Jo Eades.

Jo Eades, Expedition Leader, Raleigh International

“Anna arrived in Red Bank Village about three o’clock. She’d come from Belize City and had caught the bus to the junction of the Southern Highway from Belmopan. There she was given a lift by someone known to her from the village who dropped her off in the village of Red Bank.

In Red Bank she was seen to make a couple of phone calls. This was a work-related matter, she was trying to access a cement mixer and she also bought some supplies for the group. So she was seen in Red Bank by several people. And we believe she then began to walk back to the project site. So she was last cited at about three o’clock in Red Bank Village.”

Q: “How long a walk is it from Red Bank to the project site?”

Jo Eades

“It takes about 50 minutes, 45, 50 minutes. It involves walking to a river, crossing the river and walking up to the San Pablo Village itself. The whole journey probably takes about 45, 50 minutes. We think she probably didn’t cross the river.”

Q: “Who has been working on the case since this happened?”

Jo Eades

“Since this happened there has been a full-scale operation. So far we have huge police involvement; we have huge B.D.F. involvement. Packs of British Army Support Unit Belize are working on it. We’ve had helicopter searches by twenty five flight army air corp. Local communities have been fantastic with the searches and I have the Raleigh International venturers based at San Pablo.”

Stewart Krohn

“Jo, with every passing hour that Anna Lightfoot is not found, you’re hope has to get a little bit dimmer.”

Jo Eades

“That’s right.”

Q: “What is your best guess as to some scenario that may have happened?”

Jo Eades

“We really can’t speculate at the moment, but we are very concerned that for instance none of her bag or the shopping provisions have been found.”

Q: “Do you have any sort of deadline under which the search will be scaled back?”

Jo Eades

“In fact the search is currently upped by the police who are doing a fantastic job. In fact they have just sent a second team down there today. We have been told by them that the police and B.D.F. are starting a two-day search, starting tomorrow morning in a particular area. So we have been told that the search will be continuing until at least the end of the day Friday.”

Q: “Is there anything that the Belizean public can do to help?”

Jo Eades

“Basically if anyone has any information or citing of Anna, I think they should let the police know or 911. There is the vaguest possibility that she didn’t go back to the site, she went back to the Southern Highway. It is extremely unlikely. But if anyone in the area might have cited her or has any information it might be useful.”

Anna is five foot five inches tall, with blond hair and blue/green eyes. She was wearing shorts, T-shirt and hiking boots.

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