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California woman vanishes after going on yoga retreat in Guatemala

Nancy Ng disappeared in Guatemala last month, and her family and authorities who are searching have yet to find any clues.
California woman vanishes after going on yoga retreat in Guatemala
Posted at 2:12 PM, Nov 08, 2023

A Southern California woman who went to Guatemala for a yoga retreat last month now hasn't been seen or heard from in weeks.

Nancy Ng, a 29-year-old from Los Angeles County's Monterey Park, left for her second annual, week-long yoga retreat in the highlands of Guatemala on Oct. 14, and just a few days later, the retreat's organizer called Ng's family to say she had vanished, KTLA reported.

After she was officially reported missing on Oct. 19, her family's "nightmare gets worse" with every passing day, according to a GoFundMe raising support for search efforts.

The retreat took place around popular tourist destination Lake Atitlán, where helicopter and boat teams have now conducted multiple searches. A dive team was able to reach a depth of 40 meters in the lake, but the family says Ng was last seen near an area about 300 meters deep, or nearly 1,000 feet.

A statement from the Guatemalan Public Ministry obtained by CBS News says Ng was last seen kayaking with other retreat-goers when she and another person broke off from the group. They kayaked over a mile into the lake before Ng decided to jump into the lake for a swim, "at which point she disappeared," the statement said. The person she was with then turned back to notify the group and later the hotel staff where they were staying.

The family's latest update on the GoFundMe says it's used much of its nearly $49,000 raised — as of Wednesday morning — to privately hire its own search and rescue teams, complete with local volunteers, to extensively search the lake. But a lack of information and witnesses regarding the exact details and precise location of Ng's disappearance are hampering efforts. 

"Our fears of never finding her [are] more real," the fundraiser states.

Ng is the oldest of four siblings and loves spending time traveling and doing yoga. According to KTLA, the former Cal State L.A. student now assists students with disabilities within the Alhambra Unified School District.

Along with the U.S. State Department, the FBI confirmed to KTLA it was working closely with the Guatemalan government on finding Ng, though the Guatemalan government remains the lead agency in the investigation.

SEE MORE: Years after disappearance, Arizona teen reunites with mother

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