USA denies support to locate two missing citizens after plane crash; family begs for help

A desperate family has unsuccessfully requested the help of the United States government, after two citizens of the country of stars and stripes They have been missing for more than a week. after his plane crashed off the coast of Panama.

Debra Ann Velleman, 70, from Waukesha, Wisconsin, y Sue Borries, de 57, de Teutopolis, Illinois, both retired public school teachers, were part of a community of snowbirds and expats living in the Chame, Panama area.

After spending New Year’s Eve weekend on the Panamanian island of Contadora, the two friends were traveling with their husbands back to Chame on January 3 when the tragedy occurred.

According to family and friends, the plane in which both women were traveling suffered an engine failure and crashed off the coast of Chame.

After the accident, Debra Ann Velleman’s husband, Anthony Velleman, was rescued. another passenger and the pilot by Panamanian search and rescue teams.

The representative of the Velleman family, Albert Lewitinn, pointed out that the women have not yet been found despite continuing search efforts, and are believed to be among the unrecovered plane wreckage.

Sue Borries’s husband, Dennis Borries, had traveled back on a different flight.

According to a statement from the family, the Panamanian government had requested that the United States deploy assets, including Navy rescue divers and sonar, to assist in the search effort and locate the wreckage, but the request was denied this week due to a lack of assets and jurisdiction.

The families continue to “implore” the US government to send teams and personnel to assist in search and recovery efforts.

The Velleman family has been in contact with two of their representatives from Wisconsin, Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representative Scott Fitzgerald, while seek help in the search and recovery effort.

According to Baldwin’s office, the US Coast Guard has provided Panamanian authorities with technical models to support the search for the aircraft.

Lewitinn added that surviving passengers continue to recover after crash. While Anthony Velleman will travel by air ambulance back to Wisconsin after undergoing spinal surgery in Panama and “will need months of extensive medical care.”

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