WASHINGTON, Sept. 6, 2006 – U.S. Air Force special investigators and Kyrgyz authorities are continuing search efforts to locate an Air Force officer missing since Sept 5, officials said. Maj. Jill Metzger, personnel chief at the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing, was last seen by a group of her coworkers at the Zum shopping center in the capital city of Bishkek.
"We will not rest until we find Major Metzger," said Col. Joel "Scott" Reese, the wing's commander. "She is an extremely valuable member of our warfighting team, and we are doing everything in our power to locate and return her to safety." Reese said Metzger is an exemplary officer. Her well-known attention to detail and passion for excellence make her absence strongly felt, he added.
A 22-member task force of U.S. special agents and their support crew are working closely with local authorities using every available means to find information concerning her whereabouts. The shopping center's security tapes were helpful in directing investigators to which shops Metzger visited the night she disappeared. The city's police force combed public transportation and hospitals and distributed flyers with her photo and physical description throughout the city.
Local media has joined the search by posting and publishing her picture, description and contact information for anyone who has a lead or tip.
"The local law enforcement agencies are giving us outstanding support in our time of need," Reese said. "We are all committed to Major Metzger and her family and ask for continued thoughts and prayers from our world-wide Air Force family."