Married Intel Execs Die in Uganda
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ They traveled to Africa in search of adventure, elusive gorillas and the magic they had experienced on their honeymoon trip to the continent three years ago.
Instead, Rob Haubner and Susan Miller found themselves in the middle of a murderous political war, hacked to death by Rwandan rebels who stormed their camp Monday in Uganda.
The husband-and-wife Intel Corp. executives were rounded up with several foreign and Ugandan tourists, led on a forced march through the jungle and murdered. All told, eight foreign tourists were killed and six others were rescued. Haubner, 48, and Miller, 42, were the only Americans killed.
The two had been employed by the computer chip giant since the mid ’80s and were based in suburban Hillsboro, Ore. He was worldwide director of customer support; she was a senior trade show manager.
Haubner, who once helped persuade Intel chairman Andy Grove to fix the infamous ``floating point″ bug in an early chip, was considering retirement, according to Eric Pozzo, a friend and former co-worker.
``His thought was, `Anything beyond the age of 36, you really need to enjoy your life,‴ Pozzo said.
Haubner and Miller were on a two-week vacation, their third trip to Africa in three years, hiking the mountainous rain forest made famous in the movie ``Gorillas in the Mist.″ Their goal was to catch a rare glimpse of the 320 mountain gorillas that remain along the mountain’s impenetrable slopes.
``They loved to travel around the world,″ said Intel spokesman William Calder. ``We’re shocked and stunned.″
At the victims’ modern, white home nestled on a wooded hillside overlooking Portland, sport-utility vehicles jammed the driveway and dozens of friends and relatives milled around inside. Haubner had a grown son who also lived in Portland.
The family issued a statement saying: ``We are shocked by this news and we are trying to cope with this devastating situation as best we can.″
Nicky Laman, who lives next door, described the couple as healthy, active, handsome people who led a jet-set life of exotic vacations and overseas business trips.
``They were a remarkable couple,″ Laman said. ``It’s a tragedy. I can’t believe it happened.″
``It breaks my heart having to think about what those people went through in the last hours of their lives,″ she said. ``It’s just not right. It brings the violence pretty close to home.″
The rebels _ who came to Uganda after Rwanda’s 1994 genocide _ were members of Rwanda ethnic Hutu majority, and specifically targeted Americans and Britons, State Department officials said.
Intel spokesman Calder said Haubner and Miller were traveling with another married couple of Intel employees. Susan Studd, 46, and Bob McLaurin, 44, of Portland were able to escape by ducking out the back of their tent and hiding in the bushes after awakening to the sounds of gunfire and screams.
Studd is a manager in the human resources department. McLaurin is an assistant director in the mobile and hand-held products group.
Susan Studd’s mother, Rita Studd of Lake Oswego, said she talked with her daughter by telephone Tuesday.
``Susan is a very strong person,″ Rita Studd said. ``She sounded like someone who was living moment by moment, just trying to survive.″
``I just can’t get over how lucky we are,″ she said.