[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 5 February 2006, 00:30 GMT
FO attempts to find missing nurse
Jennifer Pope
Jennifer Pope left for her trip in September last year
The UK Foreign Office has said its staff are doing all they can to trace a 50-year-old nurse who is missing in South America.

Jennifer Pope, 50, of Mossley, Greater Manchester, had sent regular e-mails to her husband and son during her four-month trip across the continent.

But she has not been in contact with them since 9 January.

Police said her bank account had been emptied, with "irregular transactions" starting the day after her last e-mail.

It was overdrawn to its maximum amount between 10 and 16 January.

The Foreign Office told the BBC they are working directly with the local police to try and trace Mrs Pope.

They have put out 500 flyers, contacted local hospitals and her disappearance has been reported on five different television stations.

Police in the town of Banos in Ecuador also said they are working 24 hours a day to try and find Mrs Pope, but added that there is nothing to prove that she did not go missing after she left their town.

Her husband, David, 57, said that Mrs Pope, who has a son, Stefan, 22, had "no fear" and had spent the last 12 months planning her trip.

On 5 January, she e-mailed her family and said she was in Lima and planned to travel to Ecuador.

She knows what she wants and she'll stand up for herself in any situation
David Pope

It believed she arrived in Banos, but she has not been heard from since. She is due home on 20 February, but has indicated she may try to arrive back before that.

Mr Pope said: "Jen is a bubbly, fun-loving character.

"She is fiercely independent and now that Stefan is an adult she felt that it would be an appropriate time to see parts of the world that she had never been to.

"You could say she knows no fear. While travelling in Santiago she had her bag snatched from her. She ran after the offender and as she caught up with him he dropped her bag.

"I told her not to do that again; that it was dangerous, but it's typical Jen. She knows what she wants and she'll stand up for herself in any situation.

"The whole family are totally distraught by her lack of contact with us. One minute we hear something positive, the next we fear the worst.

David and Stefan Pope
Mrs Pope's husband and son got an e-mail from her on 9 January

"We need to know what has happened to her."

Mrs Pope left for Santiago, Chile, in late September last year.

She worked on a farm in Argentina, visited Bolivia and spent New Year in Peru before reaching Ecuador in early January.

In her weblog, she describes the challenges and adventures she has on her solo trip.

The last entry has her in high spirits, anticipating an early return to the UK.

She wrote: "I think I might be getting a bit travel weary now and I'm missing you all and the weather (believe it or not), and lots of little things."

Missing nurse's account emptied
03 Feb 06 |  Manchester
Family's appeal to missing nurse
02 Feb 06 |  Manchester

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific