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Swiss student missing in Philippines was killed

Meritxell Mir · 3 Jan 2012, 10:26

Published: 03 Jan 2012 10:59 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Jan 2012 10:26 GMT+01:00

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The parents of 24-year-old Alexander Reich have confirmed that their son, whose disappearance in the Philippines sparked a major international search operation, was murdered near the capital Manila in September.

The young man’s family revealed on Monday that the 24-year-old student was murdered in Queroz City on September 22nd, the same day he disappeared. His parents released the tragic news on a Facebook page they had created to raise funds for the search.

“We are very sad. Unfortunately, we received the news this afternoon that Alex was shot dead in Manila on September 22nd. The exact circumstances are still unclear. We mourn a young, open and cheerful son and brother,” the family wrote in a post.

The Zurich cantonal police sent two officers to Manila in early December to participate in an intensive search alongside Filipino and American investigators. For the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the case was given “the highest priority.”

The family remained silent, letting investigators do their job. However, on December 14th, the young man's father, Manuel Reich, travelled to the Philippines and offered a reward of 4,250 ($4,540) francs to anybody who could provide information about his son's whereabouts.

Zurich cantonal police told newspaper 20 Minutes on Monday evening that they had no further details on the circumstances surrounding Reich’s murder.

Story continues below…

Reich had travelled to the Philippines in August to take a language course. The 24-year-old student from Brüttisellen, in canton Zurich, was regularly in touch with his family and friends in Switzerland.

The last piece of information came in the form of a text message he sent at 1am on September 22nd to a friend in Manila. "I am in a white car with friends — coming soon," he wrote. But he never showed up.

Meritxell Mir (news@thelocal.ch)

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