Wyoming church says volunteer dead in Nicaragua

2014-04-15T11:37:00Z 2014-07-14T15:24:05Z Wyoming church says volunteer dead in NicaraguaThe Associated Press The Associated Press
April 15, 2014 11:37 am  • 

JACKSON, Wyo. — A Wyoming woman who disappeared on a church mission trip to Nicaragua has been found dead in that country, authorities said Tuesday.

Karen Colclough, 37, of Wilson, was working on a project with a Seattle-based nonprofit, Agros International. She disappeared April 10 after telling friends she was going for a run.

A church member and another person affiliated with the trip found Colclough's body Monday, the newspaper said. Nicaraguan authorities were investigating Colclough's death, Agros spokesman Nic Wildeman said.

Wildeman told The Associated Press on Tuesday that it's not clear whether Nicaraguan authorities are investigating Colclough's death as a homicide. Wildeman, speaking from Seattle, said he didn't know Colclough's body had been found.

"They're investigating her death, whether we would use the word homicide or not," Wildeman said Tuesday. "This is Nicaragua, it's not the United States, and I really can't comment on how they're approaching anything."

Colclough's remains were taken to a forensics lab in the capital city Managua as part of the investigation, Wildeman said.

National police in Nicaragua declined to comment to the AP on Tuesday.

The Rev. Dr. Paul Hayden, with The Presbyterian Church of Jackson Hole, said the church got word late Monday that Colclough's body had been identified.

Hayden said it was Colclough's first trip to Nicaragua with the church. She was a member of a team of eight, including two church staff, who traveled there to help villagers build infrastructure, Hayden said.

"Karen was an incredibly gifted and loving woman," he said, adding that she had spent the last year teaching people with disabilities to ski.

"She had a wonderful sense of humor, and a wonderful sense of adventure," Hayden said.

U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., issued a statement saying that her "prayers are with Karen, her family, friends, and neighbors."

"Some of Karen's friends have already contacted me explaining how caring, loving, and generous she was; the mission of mercy and faith she was on speaks to that selflessness," Lummis said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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