U.S. Embassy in La Paz Issues Statement About Missing Bolivia Volunteer

Release From the U. S. Embassy, La Paz, Bolivia—May 10, 2001

We continue to be deeply concerned by the disappearance of one of our Peace Corps Volunteers, Walter Poirier. After two months of intensive investigation, and despite the best efforts of the U.S. Embassy, the Bolivian police, Peace Corps search specialists and the FBI, we still do not know what has happened to Walter.

Although the FBI team has returned to the United States, the investigation is still ongoing. The FBI indicated that the Bolivian police, involved in this case from the beginning alongside embassy security staff, have conducted a thorough and professional investigation. The FBI team reviewed all the investigative notes and evidence and conducted numerous interviews with residents of the Zongo Valley where Walter lived and worked, as well as with fellow Peace Corps Volunteers. To date, the FBI has uncovered no credible evidence of foul play in his disappearance.

The case remains open and any investigative leads will be followed up. New posters, offering a substantial reward for information leading to Walter’s whereabouts, are being distributed throughout Bolivia, and the U.S. embassy will continue to work with the Bolivian media to publicize the disappearance and reward in the hopes someone will come forward with useful information. The FBI’s regional representative plans on making monthly trips to Bolivia to review the case. Should any new viable leads develop, the FBI has an “emergency response team” on stand-by to return immediately to Bolivia.

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