Sneddon, then a 24-year-old Brigham Young University student, disappeared in August 2004 while hiking in China’s Yunnan Province. Sneddon, who grew up in Nebraska, served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in South Korea before he disappeared.
When Chinese police and the U.S. Embassy could not find him, China said Sneddon likely fell to his death in Tiger Leaping Gorge, a report his parents did not believe plausible.
On Wednesday, a Japanese news source reported that Sneddon was abducted by agents of the North Korean government and whisked away some 2,500 miles from the Chinese province where he vanished. They claim Sneddon became an English tutor to Kim Jong-un, The news outlet, Yahoo News Japan cited South Korea's Abductees' Family Union for the information and claim Sneddon lives in Pyongyang, where he teaches English with his wife and children.
His mother, Kathleen Sneddon, said that the claim that her son is in North Korea doesn't surprise her at all.
"We just knew in our heart that he was alive, so we had to keep fighting," she said.
Sneddon's family said they have renewed hope in their son's case, while also noting the number of people believed to have been abducted by the North Korean dictatorial regime.
"One young man from Utah is a sad and woeful story. But when you look at the total number..." Roy Sneddon, David's father, told the Deseret News. "Pray for the people of North Korea that their lives will change."
The Deseret News also reported that the State Department announced Wednesday it has launched an investigation into Sneddon's disappearance.
The reported investigation came after members of Utah's congressional delegation asked lawmakers in Washington to probe whether Sneddon had been abducted by North Korea.
The province where Sneddon disappeared is in the far southwest corner of China, bordering Vietnam, Laos and Burma.
Source: Yahoo News Japan /Deseret News