David Sneddon

David Sneddon

David Sneddon is a U.S. citizen and university student who went missing while touring China a dozen years ago. When Chinese police and the U.S. Embassy could not find him, China theorized that David fell to his death in Tiger Leaping Gorge. This theory was disproved when David’s father and two of his brothers went to China and re-traced his footsteps. They documented a dozen eyewitnesses who saw and interacted with David before he disappeared more than 70 miles beyond the gorge, after traversing it safely.

Chinese and U.S. joint investigations were ultimately deemed “inconclusive.” David  remains the only American to disappear in China without an explanation since the 70’s. His passport and bank account remain unused and untouched. He was nowhere to be found in local tourist establishments or hospitals; police confirmed he was not a crime victim; his airline tickets went unused and his backpack unclaimed. He just disappeared.

In the past five years, David’s case has re-emerged with a highly-plausible explanation for
his disappearance: respected experts on North Korea and Asian Affairs have stated it is
most likely that David was abducted by the government of North Korea due to his
linguistic talents. David was fluent in Korean and skilled in Mandarin Chinese. He may
have been mistaken for an operative on the Asian Underground Railroad that provides
safe passage for North Korean refugees through China. North Korean agents are known
to operate with China’s permission to repatriate refugees in the area David disappeared.

David’s case fits a pattern of abduction familiar to experts who’ve studied North Korea for
decades, including former 20-year Pentagon guru Chuck Downs, veteran Wall Street
Journal reporter Melanie Kirkpatrick, and leading Japanese experts who maintain the
world’s best intelligence on North Korea’s abductions of foreigners.
Members of the U.S. Congress have introduced a joint resolution (S. Con. Res. 30/H. Con.
Res. 114) to urge investigation of David’s likely captivity by North Korea. High-profile
cosponsors include recent Presidential contender Senator Marco Rubio, Senate East Asia
Subcommittee Chairman Cory Gardner, House Government Reform Committee
Chairman Jason Chaffetz, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch.

The resolution directs the U.S. intelligence community to investigate David’s likely
captivity in North Korea in partnership with the U.S. State Department. U.S. officials
have yet to conduct a thorough, coordinated investigation into David’s likely captivity, or
to speak in detail with experts on David’s case. David’s likely situation should be alarming
to every American. North Korea’s admitted official state policy is to kidnap citizens of
foreign nations to serve as language trainers for its espionage program.

The North Korea Freedom Coalition is currently petitioning the U.S. Congress to pass this resolution to help bring David back home to the United States. House Chairmen have
stated that 25 total cosponsors, including 10 Foreign Affairs Committee members, are
necessary to bring David’s resolution to a majority vote under suspension of the rules.
Only five more cosponsors and three committee members are needed to reach this goal.
Please urge your Member of Congress to become a cosponsor today in order to help David!

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What You Can Do to Bring David Home – Missing U.S. Student David Sneddon

James and Roy Sneddon in Shangri-La

James and Roy Sneddon in Shangri-La, Yunnan Province, Peoples Republic of China searching for information on David Sneddon.

David Mission Training Center

Elder David Sneddon Mormon Missionary – South Korea Seoul Mission

David Sneddon, our youngest son, disappeared twelve years ago this month (on or about August 14, 2014) while hiking in China’s Yunnan Province.   Our latest information on David’s case  points to David’s likely abduction by elements of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).  We believe he is now being held captive there.  First, please join with us as we daily petition our Father in Heaven for his safe return to the United States.

Second, we are fortunate that concerned members of the U.S. Congress have joined with our family to help bring additional investigative resources to determine David’s present circumstances.  These members have introduced a joint resolution of congress which will bring such resources to bear in David’s case.  WHAT CAN YOU DO? The resolution needs additional cosponsors to bring the resolution to a vote. Specifically, three (3) more members of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee and five (5) more cosponsors in total, to bring about a vote on the resolution this Fall.  Your help to petition congress would be greatly appreciated at this time.

The YOU Can Help David tab has a sample letter you can send to your Members of Congress asking them to cosponsor David’s resolution.  Please pass on this information to your family, friends and colleagues to help us spread the word and get the cosponsors we need.  Additionally, the North Korea Freedom Coalition has started an online petition. Please be sure to sign the petition and ask your Members of Congress to cosponsor!

Our family is especially heartened by Senator Marco Rubio’s support as a cosponsor of the resolution particularly in light of his efforts campaigning for the presidential nomination of the RNC.   Senator Rubio personally pledged to lend his efforts to try to help David.

The Senate’s Chairman over Asian Affairs has also stepped forward to cosponsor the resolution.  The government of Japan has taken great interest in David’s case on behalf of many missing citizens in Japan who were also likely abducted by North Korea. Finally, we are indebted to U.S. Senator Mike Lee and Congressman Chris Stewart who have our gratitude for their determination to advance David’s case. However, we need more concerned U.S. citizens to petition their congressional representatives to support David’s resolution in order to secure a vote!

David’s likely plight should be alarming to every American. News articles and major NGO reports have documented North Korea’s systematic abduction of citizens of other countries in order to train its own intelligence agents to infiltrate these countries. It appears a U.S. citizen, – most likely our son David – has been taken as well. See HRNK’s report Taken! for greater details on the subject of North Korea’s patterns of abduction.  For a quicker read there is an excellent article from the Wall Street Journal by Melanie Kirkpatrick and a breathtakingly illustrated article in Outside Magazine by Chris Vogel specifically about our David’s disappearance and its DPRK connections.  Chris traveled to Yunnan Province, PRC to write the article.

Try to imagine Kathleen and my frustration and anxiety as we seek further information about our son.  Our goal is to ensure that the U.S. government does everything possible to investigate his likely abduction and secure his safe return to the U.S.  The questions and concerns raised by NGO’s, news reporters and world leaders about his likely situation and that of others like David should resonate in all of us.  Abduction of citizens throughout the world is state policy for the present leadership of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Help us bring David home – Get involved today!  We appreciate your support to bring David’s resolution to a vote by writing your members of Congress.  Join with us as well in regular prayers in behalf of David and the North Korean people who languish under the regime of the DPRK.


Roy & Kathleen Sneddon (David’s Mom & Dad)

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David Sneddon is a U.S. citizen, beloved son, brother, friend and colleague who disappeared in China’s Yunnan Province (southwestern China near the Tibetan border on or about August 14, 2004). The most recent information supporting David’s likely abduction by elements of the People’s Republic of China and his subsequent transfer to North Korea makes a compelling case.

On the "High Trail" in Tiger Leaping Gorge

Michael and James Sneddon. High Trail – Tiger Leaping Gorge .

David’s family and friends created this webpage to educate fellow Americans and others throughout the world about David’s likely plight.  Please examine its contents thoughtfully, share the site with friends and family, and consider taking personal action to support and advance David’s case currently before the U.S. Congress. This is best done by writing your members of Congress asking them to co-sponsor the congressional resolution to move David’s case forward. Form Letter for Your Members of Congress   This link will download a possible form letter to your congressman/senator [WP file format] for your use.  You may not know who represents you in Congress or their address. If this is the case this link  will give you the information.

If you have the time, join Michael, James and I searching for David (2004) as we hike the high trail above  the Jinsha Jiang (Yangzi River at this point).   Thank you!


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