The family of an American Seventh-day Adventist doctor who disappeared in Ukraine nine months ago will hold a service in April to celebrate his life.
Dr. Jay Sloop, a retired obstetrician serving as Health Ministries director for the denomination’s Upper Columbia Conference, was helping church leaders in Kiev establish a lifestyle center in the Ukrainian capital when he went missing during an early morning walk in Zamkova Gora Park.
Sloop, 77, was last seen on May 15, 2013. Security camera footage showed him entering the park in central Kiev, but not leaving.
No substantial leads have since emerged in the case, despite extensive searches and an ongoing investigation by Ukrainian police and the U.S. embassy in Kiev.
“We know little more than we did within hours of Dad’s initial disappearance,” son Greg Sloop said in a blog he set up to keep friends and family informed of the search.
While active searches ended in September, the family continues to follow up with contacts in Ukraine and maintains a hotline where people can report information, he said.
In a February 12 blog post, Sloop reiterated the ambiguity of the situation and said the service is not reason to further speculate on Dr. Sloop’s status.
“No matter what you might believe, we are left without Dad in our lives right now. We’d like to take time to remember who he is and was, what things were important to him, and reminisce on the time he spent with us,” Sloop wrote.
The April 26 service will “be a good time to create a small sense of closure for everyone involved,” another son, Richard Sloop, told the Yakima Herald.
Details on the service can be found at sloop.net/wordpress.