July 9, 1995 in Nation/World

Special Olympian Disappears

Associated Press

A Special Olympics athlete from the Dominican Republic has disappeared and may be seeking asylum in the United States, a spokesman for the games said Saturday.

Juan Carlos Balbuena, a 20-year-old basketball player, disappeared from the Yale Bowl early Friday night and has not been seen since, said David Phelps, spokesman for Special Olympics International.

Although organizers of the 1995 Special Olympics World Games are concerned, they do not believe Balbuena is in grave danger, Phelps said.

“We have reason to believe that this is an immigration-related matter. He may be trying to enter the country illegally or seek asylum.”

Balbuena and his delegation were staying at Quinnipiac College in Hamden, a New Haven suburb.

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