Mystery Surrounds Case Of California Woman Who Went Missing At A Yoga Retreat In Guatemala
Nancy Ng's family is desperately trying to find answers after the 29-year-old disappeared during a swim while kayaking on Lake Atitlán in Guatemala.
On Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023, Nancy Ng, a 29-year-old from Monterey Park, California, went missing while kayaking during a week-long yoga retreat that she was attending on Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. It was Nancy’s second year at the retreat, and she planned to relax on the getaway that has turned tragic.
A few days into Nancy’s trip, her family was horrified to receive a call from the retreat organizer informing them that Nancy had vanished, according to KTLA. Since receiving that call, her family has searched for answers about what happened that day, but they received very little information.
Jonathan Ng, Nancy’s brother, stated that he would leave no stone unturned in the search for his sister. Back in early November, Nicky Ng, Nancy’s sister, told KTLA, “The last two weeks have been a living hell because when we first got the news that she was missing, we just had so many questions. What happened? Where is she now? Is there a chance she’s alive? We didn’t know anything.”
In early November, footage of Nancy waving to a camera on the day she went missing was revealed, reported SFGATE. In mid-November, nearly four weeks after Nancy went missing, the family finally got more useful details when Christina Blazek, one of the kayakers who last saw Nancy, spoke out about that day through her attorney G. Christopher Gardner.
Christina is a San Bernardino County deputy public defender who was attending the same retreat as Nancy. Gardner addressed the accusations that Blazek maintained her silence although the family pleaded for answers, telling ABC7, "To say my client hasn't done all she can is not true… My client did not go anywhere with Ng. They happened upon each other on the lake. She tried to tell her not to swim because it was rough out there and there was a good current.”
According to Gardner, Christina and Nancy met and chatted while they were out on the lake. He said Nancy eventually wanted to go swimming although Christina warned her against swimming because of rough waters and a good current.
"She kept one leg in her kayak and one leg in the other kayak and tried to get back to her... and got close to her. And then apparently, she lost the kayak again and she turned around to go back to get the kayak again, and when she turned back around, Ms. Ng was gone," Gardner explained.
Gardner also shared that Christina went for help when Nancy couldn’t be found. He also denied the rumor that Christina fled the country after Nancy disappeared. He shared that she had talked to authorities and was cooperative.
Nancy’s family says they are grateful that one of the last people to see her has finally shared information about the circumstance surrounding her disappearance. However, they have more questions now. They said they had previously tried reaching out to Christina on multiple occasions and never received a response.
"If it is like she says and it is an accident, I don't understand how she could choose to leave my family in the dark for almost four weeks, and not just say that from the start." Nicky Ng, Nancy’s sister, told ABC7. "We're not blaming anybody or accusing anybody of anything. All we want is answers and we want to bring Nancy home.”
Nicky explained to NBC News, “I don’t know how much my family can accept that statement if it’s not backed up or confirmed by authorities. Whatever she’s sharing with her attorney, I don’t believe it’s something that’s under oath. And it’s maybe even his interpretation of what she told him. At the end of the day, what we want is more information so that we can direct our search team.”
The Ng family hopes that Christina will come out with a direct statement of her own instead of having her lawyer speak for her. The family continues to be proactive in their search for answers.
KLTA reported that Nancy works for the Alhambra Unified School District. She is the oldest of four siblings. According to a GoFundMe page for Nancy, she “loves yoga, traveling, hiking with her family, and cuddling with her cat.”
The GoFundMe page set up by Jared Lopez, Nicky’s partner, on behalf of Nancy has well exceeded its goal of raising $100,000. It is still accepting donations. Lopez explains on the page that the funds will be directed to rescue efforts and family support.