Six members of Haiti's Special Olympics soccer team mysteriously went missing on Monday after returning to their hotel rooms in Florida. The soccer team is in Florida to compete at the Special Olympics USA, Florida. The Osceola County Sheriff's Office said foul play is not suspected as of now but an urgent search is underway.
Antione Mithon, Nicholson Fontilus, Peter Berlus, Anderson Petit-Frere, Steevenson Jacquet, and Oriol Jean were among those sought by the sheriff's office. The missing players are all between the ages of 18 and 32 and were in the United States for "a soccer competition," according to the alert.
According to local media, the Haitians were last spotted at 2:30 pm as the games began at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee. Before they vanished, all six turned in their hotel room keys and left their luggage in their rooms.
According to a statement from the Special Olympics USA Games, the missing adults include five non-Special Olympics athletes and one adult with an intellectual handicap. "The individuals are all adults, five of whom are not Special Olympics athletes and one who is an adult with intellectual disability," the Special Olympics said in a statement to CNN.
"The well-being of these delegates is our foremost concern. Local authorities have indicated they have no reason to believe the health and safety of any of the individuals is at risk. To expand the reach and effectiveness of law enforcement's efforts to locate these individuals, they have been reported as missing persons."
Disappeared in Thin Air
Police have a lunched an investigation but they are still clueless about the entire thing. "We are in communication with Walt Disney World, Special Olympics and our Law Enforcement and Federal partners," the sheriff's office release said.
The Special Olympics began on Sunday and will be held in and around Orlando through June 12th. More than 5,500 athletes and coaches from the United States and the Caribbean are expected to compete, according to organizers.
Petit-FrÃ¨re was one of the soccer players featured on Team Haiti's Instagram account last week. "My name is Anderson Petit-FrÃ¨re, I am from Port-au-Prince and I am 18 years old," the young athlete wrote.
"I am an unified player and I am part of the Special Olympics Haiti unified soccer team. It's a big joy and honor to be part of that team. I will do my best to help the athletes in the USA Games Orlando 2022."
However, now the fate of the Haitian soccer team hangs in balance with Petit-Frere having gone missing. Soccer matches were scheduled to take place throughout the week, though the schedule of individual matches was not provided on the event's website.