The mother of Colin Madsen (below), who went missing in Russia this spring and was later found dead, believes corrupt local cops are covering up her son's murder.
Dr. Dana Madsen's 25-year-old son Colin was staying at a remote guesthouse in Arshan, Buryatia with a group of his Russian university mates, in preparation for scaling one of the nearby high-peaks together.
According to those young men, the skilled mountaineer and world-traveler allegedly went outdoors at dawn on March 27th -- during arctic temperatures dressed only in undergarments -- and never returned again.
Per this site's original coverage of his missing persons case, a broad search-and-rescue effort was launched and, approximately one week later, the frozen remains of Colin Madsen were found only a mile from his lodgings.
Just prior to that discovery, Russian authorities had opened a murder investigation naming each member of Colin Madsen's climbing party a suspect, including one fellow American, because their stories weren't adding up.
However, it wasn't long after finding the U.S. grad-student's prone but "uninjured" body outdoors, that police changed their theory about Madsen's suspicious disappearance and death, suggesting instead that it was somehow a "drug" related accident.
Dana Madsen, a physician who lives and works in Jefferson City Missouri, had immediately flown to the mountainous Russian region where Colin vanished, in hopes of assisting searchers in locating him still alive.
This week she posted on Facebook the below public appeal regarding the callous treatment she received from local officials once she arrived there. In it, she also describes their shoddy investigation and gross misstatement of facts surrounding the actions and activities leading up to Colin's death in Siberia:
"I want to know if any of you can help me get the right information about Colin out to the press. There is so much misinformation out that makes him appear foolish and they are simply not correct. It is very hurtful to his family. A: He did not go out in a tee shirt; it was a long sleeve thermal shirt. B: There is no substantiation that he went or told anyone he was going outside for a walk. The bathrooms are outside in an outhouse. C: If Colin did any drugs (which we don't know) he would have smoked marijuana and that was hours before this event occurred. There was no alcohol involved.
"D: There were not subzero temps that night. I have been told it was warm, and if anyone knows Colin, he had an incredible tolerance to cool weather. E: He was familiar with this place that he loved to hike, spoke fluent Russian, and had his pack, water and food ready for the climb. Those things were left at the cabin. F: He was found a mile away, one day after the Russian FBI came. Not huddled or covered with leaves but flat on his back in grass with his sleeves pushed up, his boots unlaced, no socks on, his eyes and mouth open. He was not in snow but on the grass under a tree. We know this, as an unscrupulous rescuer took this photo and sold it to a Russian tabloid. G: We know he wasn't suicidal, he was excited about wanting to work in the embassy in Vladivostok or the UN. H: He Loved his friends and family.
"I believe that the local police here did not do their job and even to me made innuendos and remarks that were defamatory about Colin, when they didn't know him and should have been looking for him. I think they are trying to cover up the ineptitude that occurred here before we came and the pressure to find him was accelerated . Help me if you can get the right information out there . He deserves better than this. Corruption, cover up abounds here in this place but I am so grateful for the Russian FBI, all of the volunteers, and Colin's dear, dear, friends. I also want to tell all of you how proud I am to be from the U.S. Our two consulate friends from the Moscow U S embassy, Courtney and Vassily, have been by our side every step of the way with compassion, wisdom, and love.
"The murder investigation is still open and I hate to even think it, but I believe barring some medical catastrophe like an aneurysm or pulmonary embolus, that it is likely [since] he would have never walked to a place in the pitch dark with his shoes unlaced, no socks, and when he was leaving for a climb in just a few hours that he was so excited about.
"Thanks, my friends for all of your love and support. The autopsy was done yesterday (and I hate to say it was in this place), Colin will be taken to Irkutsk today and then we will fly to Moscow and home, hopefully in a few days. I have so many other things to tell you about this debacle but I might not ever be ready to talk about it." [end quote]