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20 years

Family of British journalist who vanished in Costa Rica appeal for help to save lives


October 17th, 2013 ( The family of missing British journalist, Michael Dixon, will on Friday, October 18th, mark four years since he vanished in Costa Rica without a trace.


“Despite many promises by Costa Rican authorities, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and British police to take action, there was no proper investigation,” Dixon’s family said in an emailed statement to Inside Costa Rica yesterday.


The family said they are facing never knowing what happened to their loved one.


Michael’s brother, David Dixon, an IT specialist in London, thinks people deserve better.


He is planning to launch a new NGO – the International Missing People Group (IMPG) – to help families around the world who are left to their own devices when their worst fears come true.


Experts agree with David that there should be a global organization to tackle the problem.


They include Sigifredo Perez, the director of INSARAG Americas, a United Nations search and rescue body; Robert J. Koester, a search and rescue specialist and the author of the book Lost Person Behavior; and Mark Cleverly, the director of Public Safety Solutions at IBM.


David now wants British and Costa Rican authorities to endorse the project in order to further the goals of IMPG.


“When we tried to find Michael, we were fobbed off by diplomats and policemen. We were ripped off by private detectives and blackmailed by bogus informers. We had no idea how to hire a professional search and rescue team, how to organise a media campaign or how to contact other families looking for their loved ones,” David said.


“The past four years have taught us a lot. IMPG will give families the tools to tackle these issues,” he added.


Michael Dixon went missing in Tamarindo, Guanacaste in 2009 while on vacation.


David has created an infographic about IMPG (PDF) as well as a timeline of Michael’s disappearance (PDF).


The Dixon family also have a web site,


Link: Previous coverage of the Dixon case on ICR.

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    What a fantastic infographic! This is extremely important work, and well overdue. I’m sure these compiled resources will give families a little more peace of mind and support through this kind of maddening search…and definitely help locate more of the missing people. Nice to see such pain and frustration be turned around to help so many!

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