Statement by Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter on Missing Peace Corps Volunteer Julia Campbell

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 14, 2007 -

Last Wednesday, April 11, 2007, Peace Corps Volunteer Julia Campbell was reported missing in the Philippines after she did not appear for appointments on April 10 and April 11.

Ms. Campbell was last seen on Sunday, April 8, when she was dropped off by a taxi to go hiking in a hilly area near Banaue in the Northern Luzon region of the country. This is a popular area for visitors to the region.

The Peace Corps is making every effort to find Ms. Campbell, and our offices in the Philippines are working closely with the U.S. Embassy in Manila and local authorities, and we greatly appreciate their support. We are also in close contact with Ms. Campbells family.

Several thousand missing person flyers have been posted throughout the search area and information is being released to the public and the media, including radio broadcasts. Extensive searches in the area are being conducted both on foot and by helicopter.

All of our thoughts and prayers are with Ms. Campbell and her family during this very difficult time.

Ms. Campbells family has asked that the following statement be released:

First, we would like to thank the Peace Corps for their immediate response to the disappearance of Julia and their continued search and rescue efforts in Banaue, where she was last seen. We are grateful to the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines and especially the Philippine people who are doing all they can to locate her.

During the past two years, Julia has been on assignment, she has served in various roles in the villages of Donsol (province of Sorsogon) where she worked with the local school there to rebuild and stock the school library. 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." She also worked with the local community to launch an ecology awareness campaign and build an Eco Center in Donsol. Most recently, she served as a teacher at the Divine Word College in Legaspi City, where she taught English.

Julia is a bright, strong, and gifted woman. We are optimistic that the search efforts will be successful, and we continue to pray for her and the people who are searching for her.

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