KATHMANDU — Three people have been arrested in connection with missing University of Colorado Boulder graduate Aubrey Sacco, according to the U.S. State Department.
The Daily Camera reported that embassy officials told the Sacco family the suspects were arrested by Nepalese police on murder charges, however that hadn’t been confirmed according to a family spokesperson.
Sacco has been missing since 2010, after she went trekking alone in Nepal, against her parents’ advice, and disappeared. There has been no trace of her despite many searches.
“We assume that she has been murdered,” police said Saturday.
Two suspects were arrested Thursday near where Sacco went missing, including a 16-year-old and 22-year-old from Langtang, about 60 miles north of Kathmandu. They are in custody on suspicion of the alleged crime, chief Anurag Kumar Duwedi said.
The third suspect was reportedly arrested in the capital of Kathmandu, according to officials.
“We’re being realistic. The news that comes out of Kathmandu a lot of times is not correct,” Sacco family friend and spokeswoman Aileen Barry told the Camera. “It’s a waiting game, honestly. It’s like when she went missing. We’re just taking it all with a grain of salt and praying for everyone.”
Sacco’s family had been worried there would be no serious investigation despite their offer of a $25,000 reward for any information on her.
Her father, Paul Sacco, a brother and one of their friends flew to Nepal to scour mountain trails after she vanished in April 2010. They had no luck, and what they heard from locals in the beginning discouraged them.
They told them that if they did know something about the case, they would not share it with authorities.
Sacco’s parents have made three trips each to Nepal to search together with military and police for any sign of her, her mother Connie said.
They have hired private detectives to help on the ground over the past three years, but the trail went cold.
“No leads, no evidence of any sort,” she said.
Sacco went on the trek in the Langtang National Park after graduating from the University of Colorado. She was 23 at the time.
She was living up to her motto, “glitter the world,” on a five-month trip through South Asia, her family says.
The artist and musician first taught yoga to vacationers in Sri Lanka. Later, she went to India, studying yoga and volunteering to help schoolchildren with art and music.
She preferred staying with villagers as opposed to high-end places, Connie Sacco said. She looked forward to volunteering in Nepal.
CNN contributed to this report.