The search for a 29-year-old woman from Southern California who vanished while on a yoga retreat in Guatemala is facing critical challenges. Nancy Ng, a resident of Monterey Park, has been missing since October 19, after traveling to Lake Atitlán for what was supposed to be a rejuvenating experience.
Ng, an employee of the Alhambra School District and a former student at Cal State LA, had previously attended the same retreat and had spoken of its beauty and serenity. The retreat’s organizer alerted Ng’s family to her disappearance, sparking immediate concern and numerous unanswered questions about her whereabouts and well-being.
Lake Atitlán, set within a volcanic crater, attracts tourists regularly, and it was here that Ng intended to enjoy planned activities on the water. According to Nicky Ng, Nancy’s sister, last year Nancy had cherished moments of solitude by the lake, and anticipation for this year’s trip was high.
Since Nancy Ng’s disappearance, her family has been actively seeking assistance from the FBI and the U.S. State Department. While Guatemalan authorities are leading the investigation, the FBI’s involvement has been confirmed, alongside the engagement of private search and rescue teams. These teams have reportedly covered over 95% of the lake area, utilizing aircraft, divers, and drones in their comprehensive search efforts.
However, the investigation is currently impeded by a lack of cooperation from key witnesses. Many of those believed to have been present on the day Ng disappeared have reportedly been unresponsive, and some have returned to the United States. The family, seeking to overcome this barrier, has established a GoFundMe page to fund the ongoing search, detailing the challenges they face due to non-cooperative witnesses.
Chris Sharpe, of Black Wolf Helicopters, involved in the search, expressed concerns about the reluctance of potential witnesses to provide crucial information. This has significantly constrained the progress of the investigation.
In a poignant reminder of the weight of the situation, Nicky Ng shared a family photograph on the ‘Helpusfindnancy’ Instagram page, taken shortly before Nancy’s trip, lamenting the normalcy of their last interaction and the pain of Nancy’s absence.
As the search continues, the Ng family holds onto hope for Nancy’s safe return and urges anyone with information to come forward.