The Telegram (St. John's)
2 missing Burundi teens entered Canada; no foul play seen
Police have received reports that two of the Burundi teenagers missing after an international robotics competition were seen crossing the border into Canada.
A search for all the teens is ongoing, but police have no indication of foul play in their disappearance, Metropolitan Police spokeswoman Aquita Brown said.
The teens seen crossing into Canada were 16-year-old Don Ingabire and 17-year-old Audrey Mwamikazi, Brown said.
There was no official indication Thursday that any of the teens were trying to avoid returning to their homes in Africa, but a leader in the Burundian community in the U.S. suggested that they may be intending to seek asylum. Immigration attorneys said an asylum application could take years to sort out.
Police tweeted missing person fliers Wednesday asking for help finding the teens, who had last been seen at the FIRST Global Challenge around the time of Tuesday’s final matches. The missing team members include two 17-year-old girls and four males ranging in age from 16 to 18.
The competition, designed to encourage youths to pursue careers in math and science, attracted teams of teenagers from more than 150 nations.
A squad of girls from Afghanistan drew the most attention after they were twice rejected for U.S. visas and President Donald Trump intervened.
Competition organizers learned Tuesday night that the team’s mentor couldn’t find the six students who participated in the competition and organization President FIRST Global President Joe Sestak made the initial call to the police, according to a FIRST Global Challenge statement.