2 Burundi teens in Canada, others still missing after robotics competition in DC

Police say two of the missing Burundi robotics team members have been spotted crossing into Canada. And there's no sign any of them are victims of foul play.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Two teenagers part of the robotics team from Burundi reportedly crossed into Canada, D.C. police confirmed. The other four teens are still missing.  

The teenagers who were competing in FIRST Global Challenge robotics competition in D.C. were reported missing to D.C. police on Wednesday, according to police documents. They all went missing after the competition. 

D.C. police confirmed that Audrey Mwamikazi, 17 and Don Ingabire, 16 were both were seen crossing into Canada Thursday morning. The others are still missing. Police do not believe the others are in any danger.

All six of the teenagers have one year visas, according to the police report. 

Their families have been notified and the coach has flown back home, the embassy of Burundi said. 

The following teens are still missing and were last seen Tuesday in the 1700 block of D Street, D.C. police said. 

  • Aristide Irambona, 18, black male with dark complexion, 5'6" and 130 pounds

  • Nice Munezero, 17, black female with dark complexion, 5'7" and 140 pounds

  • Kevin Sabumukiza, 17, black male with medium complexion, 6'4" and 160 pounds

  • Richard Irakoze, 18, black male with dark complexion, 5'11" and 140 pounds 

The following teens have made it to Canada: 

  • Audrey Mwamikazi, 17, black female with dark complexion, 5'3" and 130 pounds (crossed into Canada)
  • Don Ingabire, 16, black male with medium complexion, 5'8" and 130 pounds (crossed into Canada)

Please call 202-727-9099 if you have any information. 

The following statement was released by FIRST Global: 

"On the night of July 18, the adult mentor and chaperone of Team Burundi reported to a FIRST Global representative that he was unable to find the group of six students of the team who participated in the 2017 FIRST Global Challenge. The mentor/chaperone had returned to the dormitories where the entire team was staying, thinking that the students were on another bus shuttle to the dormitories following the final Award and Closing Ceremony the night of July 18.

A search of the premises was made as well as questions of other teams and participants on whether the students had been seen.  These calls were also made to a known family member in the area on the whereabouts of the students.There were indications that the students’ absence may have been self-initiated, including leaving all their keys in their mentor/chaperone's bag and the removal of students' clothes from their rooms.

The President of  FIRST Global, Joe Sestak, called the dispatcher of the Washington DC police shortly after midnight, and the police requested that the mentor/chaperone be the one to make the report due to his direct responsibility for the students, which he did.

The police have confirmed that two of the reported missing students were last seen leaving the United States into Canada, Don Ingabire, and Audrey Mwamikazi.  The police also reported that they do not have any indication of foul play and that its investigation continues.

The security of the students is of paramount importance to FIRST Global, and therefore the organization required at least one adult mentor/chaperone accompany each team from each nation. The chaperone and students are informed that the students are to remain under the close supervision of their adult mentor and chaperone, and are not to leave the premises unaccompanied by the chaperone. 

In addition, FIRST Global representatives are placed at all times at the dormitories where the participants were staying.  Finally, FIRST Global hired a private firm to provide security at Constitution Hall and also ensured that all students can get safely to their dormitories before and after the daily competition by providing our own transportation to the students staying at Trinity Washington University.

FIRST Global will continue to work with those investigating the issue as its primary concern remains the assured safety of the students."

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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