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2 Mormon missionaries vanish in Martinique

2 Mormon missionaries vanish in Martinique



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FORT-DE-FRANCE, Martinique (AP) -- Two Mormon missionaries who vanished while hiking a volcanic peak are being sought on this eastern Caribbean island.

The Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said one missionary was from Utah and one was from New Zealand but did not release their names.

Police Cmdr. Jean Michel Robinet said the missionaries, whom he described as an American and a Briton, were last seen Monday. He declined to give their ages and names, saying only that the American was from Utah and had arrived in November, some five months after the Briton.

Police have searched dense vegetation surrounding Mount Pelee but did not find any trace of the hikers.

"It's possible they fell," Robinet said. "There are accidents from time to time, but they're rare."

The missionaries' parents have been notified, and church members are helping authorities, the church said.

Mount Pelee, which rises nearly 4,600 feet, is a popular attraction in the French Caribbean island. The volcano, which is still active, erupted in 1902, killing tens of thousands of people. The most recent serious eruption was in 1932.

The LDS Church released a short statement this afternoon saying that "church leaders and local church members are assisting authorities in their efforts to locate the elders." To read the entire statement click the related link.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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