BYU student kidnapped in 2004 rumored found in North Korea


The family of a BYU student who vanished in China in 2004 says a Japan news source is reporting what they have believed for a long time: He was abducted by agents of the North Korean government.

According to, David Sneddon is believed to now have a wife and two children and lives in Pyongyang, where he teaches English. KSL also references a Yahoo Japan article that states Kim Jong-un, the dictatorial leader of North Korea, is one of Sneddon’s former students.

Sneddon’s parents report to have been skeptical about the claims of their son’s death in 2004 when authorities failed to have a consistent explanation.

Among the reasons for their skepticism was that Sneddon’s body was never recovered, they said. Their belief is that Sneddon, who was 24 at the time, was wanted by the North Korean regime for training purposes because of his fluency in Korean, which he obtained while serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in South Korea.

KSL quoted his mother Kathleed Sneddon saying the report about her son being in North Korea “doesn’t surprise me at all… we just knew in our heart that he was alive, so we had to keep fighting.”

The U.S. Department of State is formally launching an active search for Sneddon in North Korea.

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