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Little Hope for Missing Sightseers

March 12, 1999

MODESTO, Calif. (AP) _ Investigators believe a woman and two teen-age girls met violent deaths soon after they vanished during a trip to Yosemite National Park a month ago.

``We feel almost certain the women were the victims of a violent crime,″ FBI agent James Maddock said Thursday.

Carole Sund, 42, her 15-year-old daughter, Julie, and Silvina Pelosso, a 16-year-old family friend from Cordoba, Argentina, were last seen Feb. 15 at the Cedar Lodge, a restaurant and motel on Yosemite’s rugged western border.

The group probably died the night they vanished or early the next morning, Maddock said.

Maddock refused to say what investigators said Wednesday that prompted Mrs. Sund’s husband to say that evening that he was ``devastated″ by the FBI’s news. FBI officials had said it was likely the three were dead.

Jens Sund apologized Thursday for the remark, saying reporters caught him at a low moment and that he has ``been on an emotional roller coaster.″

Francis Carrington, Mrs. Sund’s father, said the family still hopes the women will be found alive.

``We think there’s still a pretty good chance,″ he said.

Federal agents used all-terrain vehicles Thursday to search the park. Volunteers said they had been told to search for shallow graves.

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