Missionary found

Last updated 13:05 23/11/2012

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The search for a missing Mormon missionary is over after police found him safe and well near Shannon this morning.

Alec Ragan, 20, a United State citizen, went missing from his Terrace End address on Monday.

Senior Sergeant Doug Seal said Mr Ragan was found in a safe and well condition and has been reunited with his support network.

"He had no idea people were looking for him."

Mr Seal said he was recovered as a result of media coverage and thanked everyone who assisted in the search.

Mr Ragan was found by a farmer.

"They said they had seen a news report before driving out the gate, and there he was.

"It looks like he had just gone for a walk."

He said Mr Ragan was "unhappy" to be found, but went with the farmer to the police station without any fuss.

The 20-year-old was fit and well when found, and had since been reunited with members of the Mormon church community, Mr Seal said.

Mr Ragan's mother in the United States had been contacted.

Fears for 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.

Ragan was among 58,000 volunteer missionaries around the world.

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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- Manawatu Standard

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