MyKensie Martin traveling in Brazil on an exchange program is missing. The 17 year old girl was last seen last weekend hitchhiking to the capital of Brasilia from a small city about 80 miles away.
MyKensie Martin, a senior at Summit High School in Bend, Ore., on an exchange visit to Brazil, was spotted by a witness by the side of a highway leading to Brasilia about 6 p.m. Sunday, said Unai police Detective Celso Avila Pardo.
The witness talked with Martin as she was trying to hitchhike, and the girl said she was on her way to attend an event in Brasilia sponsored by the Mormon church and did not have enough money for a bus ticket, Pardo said. The girl is a Mormon. Unai is about 500 miles north of Sao Paulo.
According to reports a witness told police that MyKensie Martin appeared nervous, but believed that was because she did not have enough money for a bus ticket. The teens parents have been notified and are arriving in Brazile Wednesday. The interesting part of this case is that the FBI already seems to be involved in the matter.
The girl’s parents were scheduled to fly Wednesday to Brazil. The FBI was also assisting in the case, said FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele in Portland, Ore. “We’re preparing for the worst and hoping for the best,” the teen’s father, Steve Martin, told The Bulletin newspaper of Bend. “We just feel we need to get down there because we can’t effectively communicate from here and we need to be there to find out anything we can.”
American officials in Brazil are in contact with the girl’s family, said Maryann McKay, a spokeswoman for the American consulate in Rio de Janeiro, which handles cases involving Americans in the state of Minas Gerais, where Unai is located.
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We talked to Martin’s sister-in-law, Ashley, Wednesday morning. She’s been told that a couple of eye witnesses saw Martin change her ticket.
“No, we don’t have the slightest clue why she would want to go to Unai — it’s 5 hours in the other direction,” she said. Ashley says one of those witnesses was the bus driver. The driver says it was just the two of them on the bus, so there is no one else to confirm that report. And that’s not the only story.