After a search that lasted over a day and a half, US citizen Elizabeth Mann has finally been found after going missing while holidaying here in Goa. According to the Anjuna police, Elizabeth had taken a cab to Panchgani, a hill station in Maharashtra which is an 8-hour journey by road. Elizabeth arrived in Goa last month on the 24th of October and was staying at a hostel in Anjuna. According to friends and family, Elizabeth came to Goa for a yoga retreat and was scheduled to fly out of Goa on November 7 at 2 pm from Dabolim – but she didn’t make the flight. Anjuna police station in-charge Suraj Gawas who is investigating the case says that CCTV footage shows Elizabeth leaving the hostel lobby at 5 am on Thursday morning, but she did not return. Based on the preliminary investigation, her actions seem voluntary.
An inexplicable disappearance
Elizabeth’s family suspected that something was wrong when they hadn’t heard from her. Elizabeth was in the habit of calling her mother each day, but when the call didn’t come, they knew something was wrong. In addition, when hostel staff went to wake Elizabeth up on the morning of November 7 and found that she was not in her room, they informed her mother immediately. Elizabeth’s mother contacted the American embassy and the Anjuna police station after which, the police filed a missing person report.
The family sought support through social media
Elizabeth Mann hails from Minnesota and had enrolled herself in a yoga retreat while staying at Bunkd, a hostel in Anjuna. Her aunt, Jenny Jenson-Hoffman has started a Facebook page titled ‘Help us find Elizabeth Mann’ in order to seek out any information related to the disappearance of her niece. In a statement made to IANS, Jenny Jenson-Hoffman said, “Elizabeth has not contacted her parents for 24 hours. She would get in touch with her parents every day. We have contacted the US embassy and are in touch with the local police authorities who formed a team to look out for her”. According to her aunt, all her personal belongings, including her mobile phone, have been left behind at the hostel. “The only thing we know for sure is that she has her passport,” said Jenny.
UPDATE: In a post on the Facebook page however, the Mann Family posted a status that reads, “We would like to share with everyone that Elizabeth Mann has been found and is safe. The family would like to extend their gratitude to all who have reached out with prayer, support and assistance both in the US and in India. At this time we ask that you respect the families privacy and continue the prayers as they work to bring Elizabeth home.” According to Elizabeth’s statement to the Anjuna police, she had taken a cab to Panchgani, a hill station in Maharashtra. It is not clear why she did not carry her phone and her other personal belongings. We are waiting on a full statement from the police.