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Death certificates issued for missing missionariescomment (0)

May 2, 2002

SANFORD, Fla. — A Florida circuit judge has issued death certificates for three kidnapped missionaries who were believed to have been killed in Colombia in 1996.

The widows of missionaries Mark Rich, Dave Mankins and Rick Tenenoff sued late in 2001 for the federal government to make the deaths of their husbands official, the Associated Press reported.

The three men were kidnapped Jan. 31, 1993, while serving with New Tribes Mission, based in Sanford, Fla. Although their remains have not been recovered, a jailed guerrilla said last year they were killed in 1996 by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

The widows said the certificates were necessary for them to obtain Social Security and other benefits as well as a sense of closure.

Seminole Circuit Judge Thomas Freeman ruled on issuing the death certificates April 8.

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