Tolland County resident Patricia Wu-Murad, of Storrs, was last seen on the morning of Monday, April 10. A "tireless" search for Wu-Murad ended on Tuesday, May 30 after an international and crowd-funded effort to find her turned up few clues, according to a GoFundMe created by Patricia's daughter, Murphy Murad.
Wu-Murad went missing while hiking the Kumano Kodo trail in Osaka, Japan. Her community and loved ones donated over $200,000 via GoFundMe to fund a private search operation that worked in conjunction with Japanese and American specialists.
Efforts to find Wu-Murad included an aerial search and thorough investigations on the ground performed by several members of Mountain Works, 21 US volunteers led by multiple search and rescue experts, and a private team of four highly experienced search and specialists.
Back in Connecticut, friends and family created a Facebook group dedicated to the search, fundraised to help find the Tolland County resident, and worked with government officials, including the FBI, to push the search forward.
Her daughter stated that Wu-Murad's trusting nature could have led to a situation where she was a victim of a crime, but even after tracking down possible suspects, no evidence of such an incident emerged.
"The amount of work we were able to accomplish would not have been possible without the unwavering support of our family, friends, community, and the remarkable individuals we encountered in Totsukawa," wrote Wu-Murad's daughter, Murphy Murad.
During Wu-Murad's absence, her family has contended with the passing of her husband's birthday, Mother’s Day, and her 33rd wedding anniversary.
Her family plans to stop accepting GoFundMe donations for search efforts on June 10, the two-month marker for Wu-Murad's absence.
Residual funds will be set aside in case new leads arise. Volunteers have agreed to resume the search if new information emerges.
Wu-Murad's daughter wrote a heartfelt thank you to the people who donated, searched, and supported. She ended her message with a note addressed directly to her mother.
"Thank you for instilling in us the strength and resilience to keep moving forward each and every day without you by our side," Murphy wrote. "We love you Mama. Thank you for being you."
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