FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Peace Corps Continues to Mourn the Loss of Volunteer Julia Campbell
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 19, 2007 - U.S. Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter, along with the entire Peace Corps family, continues to mourn the loss of Volunteer Julia Campbell. Ms. Campbell disappeared on April 8 while hiking in Banaue, Ifugao Province, Northern Luzon.
Search parties discovered Ms. Campbells body near Barangay Batad, Banaue town yesterday. Ms. Campbells body has been flown to Manila where an autopsy will be performed by Philippine authorities in cooperation with specialists from the U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Officials are also continuing to investigate the discovery site.
Director Tschetter, who was in the Philippines to consult with officials expressed his sorrow. Julia was a proud member of the Peace Corps family, and she contributed greatly to the lives of Filipino citizens in Donsol, Sorsogon, where she served, he said. The U.S. Peace Corps is saddened by the loss of such a dedicated and vibrant Volunteer, who so loved this country. Our hearts go out to her family and friends in the United States.
Ms. Campbell was reported missing on April 11 after failing to show up for several appointments. She was last seen on Sunday, April 8 in the Banaue area. She reportedly intended to hike in a hilly area near Batad, 1.5 kilometers east of Banaue town, and was unaccompanied.
Ms. Campbell served in ecological and educational projects in Southern Luzon since she began her Peace Corps service in the Philippines in March 2005.
There are 136 Peace Corps Volunteers serving in the country. More than 8,000 Volunteers have served in the Philippines since 1961, making it the second oldest Peace Corps program in the world.
The following statement was released yesterday on behalf of the family of Julia Campbell:
Today, we learned the news that our Julia was found. We are so very grateful to the workers and searchers who worked diligently to look for and find our daughter, sister and friend. In addition to the Peace Corps, we would like to thank the Philippine National Police, the Philippine government and the people of the Philippines, especially those in Baranguay Batad, Banaue for the outpouring of support and assistance in the search.
The U.S. Peace Corps and our U.S. Embassy leadership, personnel and especially the Peace Corps volunteers in the Philippines have been of great comfort to our family during this difficult time. Director Ron Tschetter and his team exemplify the sense of community Julia loved about the Peace Corps; they have and continue to show great concern for Julia and our family.
During the past two years Julia has been on assignment in the Philippines, she served in various roles in the village of Donsol (province of Sorsogon) where she worked with the local school there to rebuild and stock the school library. Since childhood, Julia was an avid reader who enjoyed great literary works; Sophies Choice was one of her favorites. Many of her friends and family helped her in a campaign she created to provide age-appropriate reading materials to the library in a project she called "A Book and A Buck". Through her efforts, she collected more than 500 titles. Julia, a passionate yoga instructor and vegetarian, also worked with the local community to launch an ecology awareness campaign and instrumental in building an Eco Center in Donsol. Most recently, she served as a teacher at the Divine Word College in Legaspi city, where she taught English.
In her forty years, Julia lived a very full life. She loved her family and friends and is much loved. She was passionate in her journalism reporting especially the stories involving people who were able to stand and address adversity or adverse situations.
We have every confidence that the U.S. and Ph stand and address adversity or adverse situations.
We have every confidence that the U.S. and Philippine authorities are conducting a thorough investigation into Julias untimely death.
Plans are still in development for a memorial service in Fairfax County, Virginia where our family lives.
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