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BC-Italy-The Missing-Investigating the Dead,ADVISORY

December 19, 2018

ROME — Before their lives ended in an underwater deathtrap, before they lined up 100 to a row on a Libyan beach to board a boat with no anchor, the young men from the parched villages of the Sahel had names.

Two forensic investigators, one crisscrossing Africa and another in a university laboratory in Italy, are on a quest against the odds to keep Italy’s promise to find those names. They are tracing the identities of the hundreds of migrants killed when an overloaded fishing boat went down off the coast of Libya on April 18, 2015, in the Mediterranean’s deadliest shipwreck in living memory. And they have just made a discovery that will make their task even harder, especially at a time when Europe has turned against migrants.

This is the last story in The Missing project, where the Associated Press set out to try and document the hidden toll of migration worldwide. At a time when migration is at an all-time high, The AP has found in an exclusive tally that at least 62,284 migrants have died or disappeared worldwide since 2014. That’s more than double the only official attempt at a toll, by the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration.

Italy-The Missing-Investigating the Dead will be released at 2:30 a.m. Thursday for immediate use, 2400 words, by Lori Hinnant, Patricia Thomas and Krista Larson. It will include photos, video and an abridged version of 900 words.

It will also include a separate photo essay by Krista Larson called Italy-Investigating the Dead-Families, on the families who think their sons died on the fishing boat that sank, at 600 words, with photos by Felipe Dana.

The other stories in The Missing project can be found at https://www.apnews.com/TheMissing

If you have questions, please contact International Enterprise Editor Mary Rajkumar at mrajkumar@ap.org.

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