Student’s missing sister: The search in Asia

by Staff

Aubrey Sacco, the sister of San Diego State student Morgan Sacco, went on a trip to Nepal, but went missing in April. The Sacco family has attempted to enlist the help of U.S. officials, including Hillary Clinton. Courtesy of the Sacco Family

By Miranda Adler, Staff Writer

Most students returned from Thanksgiving break stuffed from holiday feasts. San Diego State student Morgan Sacco came back feeling empty. His sister, Aubrey Sacco, was last seen trekking through Nepal in April; she has been missing ever since.

“When we sat down for dinner it was just like we expected,” he said. “… to feel like a part of our family was missing.”

Originally from Greeley, Colo., 23-year-old Aubrey Sacco is a musician, artist and world traveler. During her solo travel through southeast Asia, where she was taking meditation classes and learning about eastern philosophies, she kept in contact with her parents via e-mail. She decided to end her trip with an approximate eight-day trek. She stayed overnight in a hotel in the Lantang National Park in Nepal on April 21, had lunch at another hotel the following day and has not been seen or heard from since.

“My sister and I both shared a love for travel, but I won’t travel now,” Morgan Sacco said. “I couldn’t put my parents through that worry.”

Parents Paul and Connie Sacco believe their missing daughter is still alive and have started a campaign to raise search funds and awareness. aubreysacco.com has been transformed into an information center, updated regularly with fundraising items and search effort progress.

Paul Sacco is thankful for the encouragement from supporters but feels frustrated with the lack of help from the government, both in the U.S. and in Nepal.

“It’s frustrating for an American family to have to be leading and solving what could be a criminal mystery on the other side of the world,” he said.

The Saccos have taken the investigation into their own hands and with the help of supporters have written thousands of letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and contacted countless government officials, but to no avail.

“In our own country the law enforcement resources are dismal,” Paul Sacco said. “In other countries, it’s abysmal.”

He said the area in Nepal his daughter was exploring is dangerous. He has been in contact with others who have had loved ones go missing from there, but residents won’t talk because much of Nepal’s economy is based on tourism. He said technology and media have played a large role in the search for Aubrey; a Facebook page created to raise awareness about her disappearance has thousands of members. Even with overwhelming support from the community, the family’s faith is being tested.

Connie Sacco said this season is especially difficult for the tight-knit family. She debated changing holiday traditions considering her daughter’s absence, but the family ended up coming together to cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

“At the heart of everything, we really believe that Aubrey is alive,” she said.

For now, the family is staying positive and the search for Aubrey Sacco continues.

For more information about ways to become involved in the search, visit aubreysacco.com.