The last person to see the California woman who has been missing for a month in Guatemala has come forward to share her version of the story.
Catch up: Nancy Ng, 29, of Monterey Park, disappeared on Oct. 19 after breaking off from a U.S. tour group during a kayaking trip in Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán. After being reported as missing, local authorities and a private search and rescue team hired by her family began efforts to locate her.
Witness speaks out: Ng, who came with the group to the Central American country for a yoga retreat, was previously reported to have separated from the group with another woman during the kayaking trip. This week, Christina Blazek, a San Bernardino County public defender, broke her silence through an attorney.
“My client did not go anywhere with Ng. They happened upon each other on the lake,” G. Christopher Gardner told ABC7.
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After chatting with Blazek, Ng eventually wanted to go for a swim. Gardner said Blazek warned her against it “because it was rough out there and there was a good current,” but she ignored her and dived into the water.
“She kept one leg in her kayak and one leg in the other kayak and tried to get back to her... and got close to her,” Gardner told ABC7. “And then apparently, she lost the kayak again and she turned around to go back to get the kayak again, and when she turned back around, Ms. Ng was gone.”
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The aftermath: Blazek reported the incident to local authorities but was reportedly told that “nothing” could be done. She learned that the lake is known for people drowning in it, Gardner said.
The lack of information about the incident has complicated search and rescue efforts. Frustrated, Ng’s family had questioned why those who traveled with her did not want to come forward “if nothing nefarious happened.”
Ng’s family had reached out to Blazek by email twice — Oct. 25 and Oct. 31 — but she allegedly refused to respond to their pleas for information. Now, Gardner explained that Blazek was traumatized by the incident and needed time.
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What’s next: Efforts to find Ng continue. In an update on Monday, her family said they plan to pass information to an underwater search and recovery team, which will conduct a deep-water search on the lake.
A GoFundMe page has been organized to aid search efforts and support Ng's family. As of press time, the campaign has raised $93,459.
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