Teens from African robotics team missing, police say

Bowen Xiao
By Bowen Xiao
July 20, 2017World News
Teens from African robotics team missing, police say
(L-R)18-year-old Richard Irakoze, 17-year-old Kevin Sabumukiza, 17-year-old Nice Munezero, 17-year-old Audrey Mwamikazi, 16-year-old Don Ingabire, and 18-year-old Aristide Irambona (D.C. Police)

Two of the six African teenagers who went missing at the Washington international robotics competition this week were seen crossing into Canada and are safe, D.C police said.

The other 4 missing teenagers are presumed to be in safe hands as well but authorities have not yet confirmed this, The Washington Post reports.

The D.C. police department tweeted today, July 20, for the public’s help regarding any information on the whereabouts of the missing teenagers.

The tweet says “They went missing 7/18. Have info? Call #MPD at 202-727-9099/ text 50411. Photos can be found here: https://missing.dc.gov/ #MissingPerson.”

Authorities believe the group of teenagers left of their own will and that no foul play seemed to be apparent.

A D.C. police spokeswoman identified the two teens who were going into Canada as Don Charu Ingabire, 16, and Audrey Mwamikazi, 17, Washington Post reports.

The group of teenagers originally came from the Eastern African country of Burundi, their ages range from 16 to 18. But members of the group disappeared on Tuesday, July 18.

The members came to D.C. to compete in the FIRST global challenge robotics competition, drawing youth from nearly 160 nations, according to competition’s official website.

Trinity Washington University, the school hosting the international students for the competition, said their students  had to “always to be under close supervision of their adult mentor and are advised not to leave the premises unaccompanied by the mentor.”

The investigation is ongoing as officials from the Burundi Embassy in Washington said they are aware of the situation but had no other information to give, The Washington Post reports.

A spokeswoman for the university, Ann Pauley,  confirmed that some of the visiting teams were staying at their rented resident hall.

“First Local was fully responsible for supervision of the students,” Pauley said Thursday. “Trinity was notified of the missing Burundi team and is fully cooperating with the investigation.”



ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.