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Jay Sloop Missing: Doctor Disappeared During Ukraine Medical Mission

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JAY SLOOP
An undated photo of Dr. Jay Sloop provided by his family. | Sloop.net/wordpress/

Authorities in Ukraine are trying to locate an American doctor who disappeared under mysterious circumstances two weeks ago Tuesday.

Jay Sloop, a 77-year-old retired obstetrician from Yakima, Wash., was last seen in Kiev on May 14, when he went for a morning walk.

"He was working with the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Kiev and was helping set up a health clinic there," his son Greg Sloop told The Huffington Post.

According to Ukrainian media reports, Jay Sloop made an ATM withdrawal shortly after he left for his walk. Camera footage recovered from the ATM does not show him with anyone else and, as his son noted, he did not appear to be in "distress or ... coerced."

A short time later, surveillance cameras captured Sloop entering Zamkova Gora, a heavily wooded park in the city center. The cameras did not show him leaving the park.

"The park is not flat with manicured lawns as one might assume. Rather, it is a flat-topped hill with very steep sides covered in some rocky outcroppings, trees, brush and bushes and some patches of long, untrimmed grass. A set of steel stairs leads 200-250 feet to the top," said Dr. Fred Hardinge, a colleague of Sloop.

PHOTOS OF DR. JAY SLOOP (Story continues below):

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Greg's brother, Randy Sloop, is in Kiev helping to organize search efforts for their father, who had been in Ukraine on his medical mission since May 8.

"He checked with people in the area, and they were told it is a low-crime area ... It was an upscale area of Kiev," Greg Sloop said.

Missing-person flyers have been plastered throughout the area and several searches have been conducted of Zamkova Gora, but no sign of Jay Sloop has been found.

Greg Sloop said his father's disappearance has been especially difficult to handle due to the language and cultural barriers.

"It's been hard being far away and having no control of the situation," he said. "You're dealing with a culture, a legal system, and law enforcement that you have no idea how it works. All of those things are frustrating. It makes you feel more and more powerless. If it happened here and you were able to do something, even if what you were doing is largely useless, you'd feel better about it."

According to his family, Jay Sloop was last seen wearing dark-blue trousers, a light-blue, striped button-up shirt with clip-on suspenders, and a pair of tennis shoes.

"It's pretty difficult," Greg Sloop said. "You have days where you're hopeful and days where you're not so hopeful."

Greg Sloop maintains a blog devoted to the search for his father at www.sloop.net/wordpress

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