Teens Who Came to US for Robotics Contest Go Missing

6 teens may have disappeared of their own accord
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 20, 2017 3:38 PM CDT
Burundi Teens Disappear After DC Robotics Contest
In this July 17, 2017, photo, the Afghanistan team, left, walks past two of the team members from Burundi, at right in black shirts, during the FIRST Global Robotics Challenge in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Six teenage members of the Burundi robotics team were reported missing after competing in an international competition this week in Washington, the AP reports. Organizers of the competition say the teens may have "self-initiated" their disappearance. The team members' chaperone filed missing-person reports after the teens could not be found at the conclusion of the international event Tuesday evening in Washington. On Thursday, a statement from the event organizer, FIRST Global, said the chaperone was caught off guard. First Global said the group may have self-initiated the disappearance, noting that the students had taken all their clothes from the dormitory where they had been staying.

Metropolitan Police spokeswoman Aquita Brown says they have received reports that two of the teens have been seen crossing the border into Canada. She says the whereabouts of their team members is unknown, and that the search for all the teens remains ongoing, but she stresses that police have no indication of foul play in their disappearance. Police tweeted missing person fliers Wednesday asking for help finding the teens last seen in the area of the FIRST Global Challenge around the time of Tuesday's final matches. The missing team members include two 17-year-old girls and four males ranging in age from 16 to 18. (Read more Burundi stories.)

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