October 27, 2004
To: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, People's Republic of China
The U.S. Department of State
From: The following family members of David Louis Sneddon, who has been missing in China since August 2004:
Roy V. Sneddon (father)
Michael V. Sneddon (brother)
James H. Sneddon (brother)
On Wednesday morning, August 11, 2004, David L. Sneddon, a 24 year-old student traveling in western China after a term of language study in Beijing, sent the following e-mail message to his mother, Kathleen Sneddon:
David's family and friends have not heard from him since.
Chinese authorities and officials at the U.S. embassy in China have suspected that David Sneddon lost his way while hiking through the Tiger Leaping Gorge and died in a fall or drowned in the Jinshajiang River. Other officials have supposed that even if he did not come to harm in the gorge, he may have chosen to go into hiding. Because of these theories, China's official search for David has focused on the gorge and has lost momentum.
We three, members of his family, traveled to China in September 2004 to look for David. After our own investigation, we submit this document to disprove both of these theories. In this document, we assert that:
This document explains our findings. We conclude that David Louis Sneddon disappeared involuntarily in Shangri-La sometime between 12:00 noon and 3:00 PM on Saturday, August 14, 2004.
We submit this document to encourage the governments of the People's Republic of China and the United States to continue the search for David. We request that you focus the search in Shangri-La, the geographical area where he was last seen. We also request that you focus on peoples or organizations that may have an interest in detaining an American who has unique language skills.