Haitian Special Olympians missing in Florida

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


What was supposed to be a joyous celebration of the achievement of differently-abled athletes from across the United States and Caribbean has turned into an effort to find six missing people in Central Florida.

According to a report from Fox News, six members of the Haitian men’s soccer contingent, one of whom is mentally handicapped, have been missing since Monday in Kissimmee, which is located 30 miles south of Orlando. Police do not suspect foul play, but the sudden departure of a half-dozen athletes has been met with seriousness from local officials.

“The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating a missing person’s case involving members of the Haitian delegation participating in the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games,” a statement from the sheriff’s office reads. “We are in communication with Walt Disney World, Special Olympics and our Law Enforcement and Federal partners.”

The athletes, who are aged between 18 and 32, were in Florida to participate in the 2022 installment of the Special Olympics USA Games, which are being held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee.

According to OCSO, the six men – Antione Mithon, Nicholson Fontilus, Peter Berlus, Anderson Petit-Frere, Steevenson Jacquet, and Oriol Jean – turned in their room keys and left behind their personal belongings.

“The reason for their departure from the Games is currently unknown,” Special Olympics USA games said in a statement, later adding, “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.”

The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games began on June 5 and are slated to end on June 12.