Find Sophia Foundation established

Press Release

Foundation established to finance search operation to find Sophia Koetsier, missing in Uganda.

Amsterdam – February 29th 2016 – At the request of the Koetsier family the Find Sophia Foundation –IBAN NL34 RABO 0169 9179 32- has been established to collect funds in order to finance a search operation to find their missing daughter Sophia Koetsier. Sophia went missing on October 28th 2015 at Murchison Falls, Uganda. Several attempts to find her have so far been unsuccessful which is why additional funding is needed.

Facts about her disappearance
Medical student Sophia Koetsier left the Netherlands on August 30th 2015 to start an internship at the Lubaga hospital in Kampala, Uganda. After successfully finishing this internship a two week safari with two fellow Dutch medical students followed. Sophia was due to return home on November 10th 2015, in time for the bachelor graduation ceremony at the University of Amsterdam on November 13th.

On October 28th 2015 they arrive at the Student Center in Murchison Falls National Park, their accommodation for that night. Sophia allegedly says she is going to the toilet and has not been seen since. A search party is quickly formed with several park rangers, to search for Sophia. She is not found.

The next morning, Thursday, a plastic water bottle filled with trash, allegedly Sophia’s, is found some 5 meters inland from the riverbank. Again the next morning, Friday, a whole trail of items is found along the river bank. This is 40 hours after Sophia was last seen. Several sources point out these items were not far from the bottle, found a day earlier.
The various items found on Friday include one shoe, a pair of sunglasses, a pair of black knickers pulled over a branch, some 4 to 5 meters high up in a tree. Also found a number of torn pieces of textile, some tied to dead wood on the ground. These pieces are part of a pair of trousers Sophia owns and likely was wearing when she disappeared. However, she had changed her trousers after arriving at the location and no one seems to know for sure what she was wearing when last seen.

There is no evidence indicating an attack by wild animals, according to local authorities, no blood traces, no sign of a struggle, no remains. Nor is there any evidence that she entered the water.
The found items have clearly been produced and laid out by human hands. Terms such as ‘manipulated’ and ‘staged evidence’ came up very quickly.
Since finding these items, no further traces of Sophia have been found.
It is a big mystery what could have happened to her.

Search operation
After consultation with several specialists, with expertise in missing person cases abroad, it has been decided to organize a broad search operation in order to find Sophia. This operation by a Dutch search team will first of all focus on finding Sophia in the area where she was last seen or finding leads to her current whereabouts. At the same time we will distribute her picture through posters, billboards and a media campaign, to ask the people in Uganda to help find her.

Find Sophia Foundation
The main objective of the Find Sophia Foundation is to realize this search operation for Sophia and to facilitate all possible options that can help finding Sophia.

Grateful for local efforts and help from authorities
We, Sophia’s family, are grateful for all the help that has been offered by local and Dutch authorities with regards to her disappearance. Unfortunately this aid has not yet lead to the breakthrough in finding her, nor has it given any hope for an expeditious ending of this nightmare. The excruciating insecurity in which we, her family, are living day and night since October 28th, is devastating.

We, her parents, brothers, family en friends of Sophia, have no choice but to continue searching for her until we find her. Doing nothing is not an option.

We cannot finance this operation by ourselves and we desperately need the support and donations of the public to find our daughter.

Help us find Sophia.