3 arrested in Nepal in case of missing Colorado hiker Aubrey Sacco who disappeared in 2010
Sacco last seen in Langtang area
Last Updated: 129 days ago
KATMANDU, Nepal - Police in Nepal have arrested three men suspected of being involved in the 2010 disappearance of a 23-year-old Colorado woman.
Aubrey Sacco's parents tell 7NEWS U.S. State Department officials on Friday confirmed police have arrested three men, but little else.
"In the last 12 hours, we've been on a very serious roller coaster ride," Aubrey's father, Paul Sacco, told 7NEWS reporter Lindsey Sablan at the family's Greeley home. "We woke up this morning to a call from a news agency that at least two men had been arrested in the Lang Tang and they had admitted to allegedly murdering our daughter."
News organizations in Nepal are quoting sources familiar with the investigation, saying the men admitted they "murdered her and threw her into the river."
But the family says they've had inaccurate reports from news organizations there before and haven't heard anything from Nepalese officials.
"We are on needles and pins," the father said. "We're just going up and down because we don't know if our daughter's alive. We don't know if the report is correct."
Aubrey Sacco has been missing since she failed to return from a solo hike in the Langtang area of northern Nepal in April 2010. It was the end of the trekking season and few other backpackers were in the area.
Police official Raj Kumar Shrestha told the Associated Press the suspects were arrested Thursday in Rasuwa, near where Sacco went missing, and were being questioned.
Nepal has been under pressure to investigate the case. It's the first time suspects have been arrested.
Despite the news, the parents hold out hope that Aubrey may be found alive.
"You just have to have hope that it's not the answer," her mother, Connie Sacco said. "It's easier to get up in the morning, knowing that your daughter is somewhere and just fine. That is what we've carried in our heart all this time and, you know, we don't have to be there yet."
In the three years since Aubrey vanished, her parents and other family members have repeatedly traveled to Nepal, building relationships with officials in the Nepalese police, army and government as well as villagers in the LangTang area.
Sacco's family was back in Nepal as recently as April. Learn more on their website: http://aubreysacco.com/MakeLove2Life/home.html
The parents have found support from officials and residents as they've patiently canvassed the area where Aubrey went missing, passing out photographs of her and asking for information.
"It is surprising how many people out there have little girls, because (officials) have broken the rules. They've stepped out, they've risked being fired…terminated from positions. And they did it because they have little girls, too," Paul Sacco said.
Local authorities and family members have made several searches of the area, but have failed to find any trace of Aubrey. They did find some personal items, including Aubrey's laptop, video camera and a journal. Those items were found at the last hotel where she stayed.
Now the parents are waiting for the phone to ring with credible information from authorities.
"We've been directly in contact with the police and army," Connie Sacco said. "They have our home phone number, they have our cell numbers. There has been no word from them.
"I cannot talk to you and tell you what's happening until I'm 100 percent (certain). We've been in waiting games before and it's not fun," the mother said.
"This isn't our first rodeo," echoed Paul Sacco. "We've heard really bad news or significant news (before) and it's always turned out to be something different."
Aubrey Sacco graduated from the University of Colorado in 2009. She had been in South Asia for five months, teaching yoga and traveling when she disappeared.
After another young woman who was hiking alone disappeared and then was found dead in May 2012, Nepal banned solo trekking.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.