Missionary missing in Palmerston North

Last updated 21:00 21/11/2012
Alec
MISSING: Alec Ragan, 20.

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A foreign missionary feared missing from the Mormon church is believed to be taking some time out.

Fears for Alec Morgan Ragan, 20, arose after he disappeared from his Terrace End flat on November 19 and could not be contacted.

However, spokesman for the church Richard Hunter said yesterday that they had been told Ragan had been seen at an internet cafe in Palmerston North ''looking well'' on Wednesday night and he believed he was ''taking some time out'' from the church.

Ragan, originally from the state of Utah in the US, has been in Palmerston North for the past 12 months working as a missionary at the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

Fellow missionary Elder Teaupa, said something had offended Ragan, or he had been having a bad day the morning he went missing.

He had been studying that morning where he wrote a letter, which he then left folded on the table, getting up and walking into the shower.

It wasn't until about half an hour later, after he failed to respond to attempts to talk to him, someone managed to get into the shower and found he was gone.

They believed he had climbed out the window and had not responded to calls to his mobile since.

Police asked for sightings of Ragan after he failed to make any contact for two days.

He was still considered missing today as police had not located him nor talked to the person who believed they had seen him.

He is described as of a thin build, 173cm tall, with short tidy blond/mousey brown hair.

Mr Hunter said the church was concerned for him, but as an adult, he was capable of taking care of himself.

Ragan was among 58,000 volunteer missionaries around the world and sometimes they found it ''wasn't quite for them'', he said.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the fourth largest Christian church in the United States.

It has 14 million members. Half of all mormon's live outside the United States.

Most missionaries are under the age of 25. They work in pairs and most fund their own missions.

They are sent only to countries where governments allow the church to operate.

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