PROVO, Utah — A Brigham Young University student and returned missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who disappeared and was thought to have died in China in 2004 may be alive in North Korea.
According to a Yahoo Japan article, David Sneddon may have been kidnapped by the North Korean government years ago when he disappeared while hiking in western China.
The Chinese government suggested 24-year-old Sneddon died while hiking in Tiger Leaping Gorge in the Yunnan Province.
Sneddon's parents, Kathleen and Roy, say they have always been skeptical of that theory because their son's body was never recovered.
The article reports Sneddon is believed to have a wife and two children now and may be working as an English teacher, tutoring Kim Jong-un.
“I smiled at and laughed. Really come on? It could be. It’s kind of fun to think about,” says Kathleen Sneddon.
The Sneddons weren’t surprised to learn he was married with children. It was something they had been warned about by people in Japan who are familiar with North Korean abductions.
“If you’re married and have a child you’re not going to want to leave. You’ll be happy,” says Kathleen Sneddon.
The Sneddon’s have new hope after they say their son may have been spotted in Pyongyang, North Korea.
“They’ve captured him to come and help them. He’s an asset. Teach English, train their future spies because he knows the ways of America,” said Kathleen Sneddon.
They’ve been told that David is likely living a privileged life, but they’re still worried about how he’ll survive in this volatile foreign country.
“When you know that Kim Jong Un killed someone because they fell asleep in a meeting that’s kind of scary and that just happened two weeks ago,” says Kathleen Sneddon.
Politicians including Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Chris Stewart have a joint resolution that is part of an effort to find Sneddon.
“Get them together, get them to pool their information and put in effort to find David and bring him home,” says Kathleen Sneddon.
In the meantime, the Sneddon’s do their best to live their lives with their ten other children and thirty grandchildren.
“I feel cheated because I would’ve had another wonderful daughter in law with darling children because David would’ve been a great father. He is a great father I should say,” says Kathleen Sneddon.
They know if anyone could survive this, it would be David, their lemonade maker.
“David would make lemonade out of a lemon. He would make the best of it. David will,” says Kathleen Sneddon.