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Texas search-rescue team arrives in Middlebury

MIDDLEBURYTexas-based EquuSearch, a private, non-profit search and rescue team, is helping local law enforcement officials look for missing Middlebury College student Nicholas Garza. Garzas mother involved the Texas team according to news reports. EquuSearch personnel arrived in Middlebury Feb. 25. Garza, age 19, was last seen Feb. 5. He was last seen leaving Stewart Hall at approximately 11:05 p.m. Garza was last seen wearing denim pants, a red-button shirt, and athletic shoes. Several searches for Garza in February turned up nothing. Authorities say that without more clues theres little they can do. According to a volunteer involved with the search for Garza, the Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team was started in August, 2000 with the purpose to provide volunteer horse-mounted search and recovery for lost and missing persons. In addition to the Garza and other missing person searches the team is also involved in the search for another missing college student, Natalee Holloway, in Aruba. No clear theory about what happened to Garza has been offered by authorities. Without more clues it is uncertain to say if Garza was abducted; he may have lost his way on campus at night. However, according to EquuSearch, in 53% of missing person cases there is an abductor involvedboth the victim and abductor were strangers in these cases. In 58% of the cases, the first contact site between the victim and the abductor was within .25 mile of the victim's residence. In 33% of the cases, first contact was under 200 feet from the victim's residence. Typical abductors are white males, about 27 years old, unmarried, with prior arrests for violence in 60% of the cases, and, in 53% of the cases, with prior crimes against children, according to EquuSearch. A fund has been set up to help the Garza family in the search for Nicholas Garza: www.nicholasgarza.org/.

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