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Missing Persons

WORLD
January 5, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
A plane crashed into the sea off Venezuela with 14 people on board, including eight Italians and a Swiss citizen. There was no immediate report on casualties. Search teams fanned out by air and sea to look for the twin-engine plane, which left Simon Bolivar International Airport near Caracas and hit the sea about 24 miles from Los Roques islands, said Gen. Antonio Rivero, Venezuela's emergency management director. Rivero said the five Venezuelans aboard included the pilot and co-pilot.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 30, 2007 | Jean-Paul Renaud, Times Staff Writer
The search for a missing 19-year-old female college student brought together a diverse ensemble of volunteers Saturday hoping to find answers to a formidable question: What happened to Donna Jou six months ago? About 100 relatives and friends -- even a former girlfriend of the man police have named as their prime suspect in Jou's disappearance -- scattered throughout the Santa Monica mountains in Malibu looking for clues.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 29, 2007 | Andrew Blankstein, Times Staff Writer
Six months after the disappearance of a 19-year-old female college student, scores of volunteers are planning to again search the Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu this weekend for any clues in her case. A Northern California Christian search group will lead the effort, the second privately organized search for Donna Jou in the Malibu area in the past three months.
WORLD
December 28, 2007 | Tina Susman, Times Staff Writer
It was one of the more chilling attacks on U.S. troops: an ambush on an isolated highway that left four American soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter dead and three Americans missing. Seven months later, two of the soldiers have yet to be found, but Thursday the military announced a break in the case that could reveal their fate. A U.S. statement said two men had been arrested in Ramadi, about 60 miles from the scene of the May 12 attack.
WORLD
December 27, 2007 | Bruce Wallace, Times Staff Writer
Abid Raza Zaidi winces occasionally as he tells how police hung him upside down and beat him with leather straps to get him to confess to taking part in a deadly bombing in Karachi. He remembers being forced to stand for hours without rest, and the strange serenity he felt when police said they had determined he was guilty and would execute him in the morning. The police eventually let him go.
WORLD
December 23, 2007 | Ramin Mostaghim and Borzou Daragahi, Special to The Times
The wife of a U.S. businessman and former FBI agent who disappeared nine months ago during a trip to Iran said Saturday that she was leaving the country with no new clues about his whereabouts. Christine Levinson, wife of private investigator Robert Levinson, arrived in Iran with her son and sister Tuesday to retrace her husband's steps during what was supposed to have been a 24-hour trip in March to the southern Iranian island of Kish.
WORLD
December 21, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
A main suspect in the disappearance of American teenager Natalee Holloway wrote in an Internet chat session that she was dead, contributing to the decision last month to rearrest three men, Aruban prosecutors said. Joran van der Sloot and brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe have since been released. Chief prosecutor Hans Mos said he had done all he could in the case of the 18-year-old, who disappeared May 30, 2005. He refused to say which of the three suspects wrote the reference to Holloway.
WORLD
December 19, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Prosecutors in Aruba closed their investigation of the disappearance of American teenager Natalee Holloway, saying they still believe that three young men were involved in her death but can't prove it. They dismissed the case against the three young men who had been rearrested last month. None of the men talked in custody. If they were put on trial, the lack of evidence "would lead to an acquittal," the public prosecutor's office said in a statement. Holloway disappeared May 30, 2005.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 17, 2007 | Kenneth R. Weiss, Times Staff Writer
The body of an elderly woman was discovered Sunday in the front passenger side of a crumpled car in a San Fernando Valley towing company's yard -- a day after paramedics had removed her son from the same vehicle after a crash, authorities said. The woman, whose identity was not released, had apparently been left in the car at the accident scene in Tarzana even as her son was taken to a hospital, police said.
WORLD
December 9, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
A British man who was declared dead after disappearing at sea five years ago masterminded an elaborate life insurance fraud to pay off family debts and also lied to get a false passport, police said Saturday. John Darwin was declared officially dead after an apparent 2002 canoeing accident, but turned himself in to police a week ago, claiming to have amnesia. Police allege he faked his death in order to clear his family's debts and said he would appear before a court Monday.
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