Finding David Sneddon:
October 27, 2004
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, People’s Republic of China
The U.S. Department of State
The following family members of David Louis Sneddon, who has been missing in China since
Roy V. Sneddon (father)
Michael V. Sneddon (brother)
James H. Sneddon (brother)
On Wednesday morning, August 11, 2004, David L. Sneddon, a 24 year-old student traveling in western China
after a term of language study in Beijing, sent the following e-mail message to his mother, Kathleen Sneddon:
“I’m in Lijiang now in western Yunnan province. I will take a bus to hike Tiger Leaping
George [sic] in about half an hour . . . . I am having a great time hear [sic] but nonetheless
am excited to come home.”
David’s family and friends have not heard from him since.
Chinese authorities and officials at the U.S. embassy in China have suspected that David Sneddon lost his way
while hiking through the Tiger Leaping Gorge and died in a fall or drowned in the Jinshajiang River. Other
officials have supposed that even if he did not come to harm in the gorge, he may have chosen to go into hiding.
Because of these theories, China’s official search for David has focused on the gorge and has lost momentum.
We three, members of his family, traveled to China in September 2004 to look for David. After our own
investigation, we submit this document to disprove both of these theories. In this document, we assert that:
• David Sneddon traveled safely through Tiger Leaping Gorge.
• Multiple witnesses encountered David between August 11 and 14 and positively establish that he left the
Gorge and traveled to Shangri-La (formerly Zhongdian).
• David was last seen in Shangri-La around noon on Saturday, August 14, 2004.
• David is missing involuntarily, perhaps kidnapped or kept against his will by some persons or organization.
This document explains our findings. We conclude that David Louis Sneddon disappeared involuntarily in
Shangri-La sometime between 12:00 no