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Wisconsin Teacher Slain at Missionary Village

May 6, 1986

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) _ An American teacher working with missionaries’ children at a village in southeastern Colombia was stabbed to death by a mentally retarded man, a spokesman for the Summer Institute of Linguistics said Tuesday.

Joan Roraff, 37, of La Crosse, Wis., was killed Sunday when she was stabbed once in the heart at the village of Lomalinda in Meta state, according to Abe Koop, the institute’s assistant director in Colombia.

He said Miss Roraff was bathing at a lake with 10 other women when the man rushed into the water and stabbed her.

Lomalinda is a village of about 1,000 people in the vast plains called the Llanos. Miss Roraff had taught at the primary school there since arriving in Colombia in 1983.

The 34-year-old Colombian who killed the teacher was arrested without a fight and was taken to the town of Puerto Lleras, Koop said.

Miss Roraff was buried at Lomalinda, a village built by the institute’s missionaries.

The institute, with headquarters in Dallas, Texas, works with Indian tribes that have no written language. The missionaries draw up an alphabet and work toward translating the Bible into the local language.

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