2nd Ivory Coast Special Olympics athlete goes missing
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A search is underway for a second Ivory Coast Special Olympics athlete who vanished near Los Angeles on Monday night, just hours after his teammate was found safe.
Abidjan Ouattara, 28, was last seen around 11:00 p.m. Monday leaving an Inglewood hotel, where his team had been staying.
According to the Inglewood police, Ouattara’s coach discovered that he had gone missing around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, nearly eight hours after the athlete disappeared. Ouattara was scheduled to leave Los Angeles in the afternoon.
A surveillance camera photo shows the French-speaking golfer wearing glasses, a white athletic jacket with an orange shirt, white pants and sandals.
The police believe that Ouattara has no money or cellphone with him.
Ouattara is the third athlete who went missing as teams began to depart.
Another member of the Ivory Coast delegation, table tennis player Sihon Ange Ismael Kone, 15, was found sleeping on an Inglewood lawn nearly six miles away from the Los Angeles International Airport Monday afternoon. The autistic teen apparently left his delegation as they prepared to return home.
A 44-year-old Albanian bowler missing since Saturday turned up at a Northern California police station 350 miles away early Monday morning.
The disappearances athletes are not the first to occur during a Special Olympics competition.
Three athletes and a coach from Niger went missing from the games in Ireland in 2003. Two Moroccan athletes and two Dominican Republic athletes disappeared from the games in the Raleigh-Durham area in 1999.
Delegations are required to come with a ratio of one coach to four athletes, and the coaches are responsible for managing their participants, said Jeff Carr, chief operating officer of the Special Olympics World Games Organizing Committee.