Nadia Erika Cole

Nadia Erika Cole

Missing Port Angeles woman found safe in Mexico

Cole, 21, helped locate Aung, 2-year-old girl

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles woman who had been missing for more than a month was found at a roadside checkpoint in Santa Ana, Mexico.

Nadia Erika Cole, 21, was found safe and unharmed July 4 by police in Mexico, her parents, Kirk and Beata Cole, said.

She was transported to the border to re-enter the United States, where she voluntarily came back to her parents, they said.

Cole, a Peninsula College and Washington State University graduate, was reported as a missing person on May 29 after she left her family at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where she was to board a flight to Italy.

She was spotted by surveillance cameras outside the airport about 3 p.m.

“Since her return, Nadia has been fully cooperating with authorities to help locate and aid in the safe return of Aaron Aung and 2-year-old Seraya Aung Harmon,” Kirk and Beata Cole said in a statement. “She is recovering from her ordeal at a secure private location.

“Details of the circumstances that led to her disappearance remain part of an ongoing investigation, and we trust that more information will be released as deemed appropriate by the investigating agencies.”

Cole cooperated with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to help locate Aung and Seraya, according to published reports. Aung failed to return the girl to her mother’s custody last month, the Pullman Police Department said.

“We are eternally grateful for the dedicated officers and detectives of the FBI, Port of Seattle Police, and the Pullman and Moscow police departments who worked diligently to ensure Nadia’s safe return since she was reported missing on May 29th, and for the successful safe return of Aaron Aung and Seraya,” Kirk and Beata Cole said. “We would especially like to thank Security Services Northwest for their initial role as a central hub for tips and information as the missing persons case was progressing.

“To our friends, neighbors, colleagues, and the hundreds of friends and acquaintances of Nadia, we don’t know how we could have coped with this situation without your love and support.”

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Reporting intern Christopher Urquia is a student at Peninsula College. He can be reached by email at christopher.urquia@peninsuladailynews.com.

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