OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after six adult members of the Haitian soccer team participating in the Special Olympics USA Games went missing.
Atione Joseph Mithon, 32; Nicholson Fontilus, 20; Peter Mianovich Berlus, 19; Anderson Petit-Frere, 18; Steevenson Jacquet, 24 and Oriol Jean, 18, have been missing since Monday, the sheriff’s office said.
According to a statement from the Special Olympics USA Games, five of the adults are not Special Olympics athletes, and the sixth is an adult with intellectual disability.
“The well-being of these delegates is our foremost concern,” Special Olympics USA Games said in an email. “Local authorities have indicated they have no reason to believe the health and safety of any of the individuals is at risk. To expand the reach and effectiveness of law enforcement’s efforts to locate these individuals, they have been reported as missing persons.”
The adults were last seen at 710 S. Victory Way in Kissimmee around 2:30 p.m. Monday.
All six men turned in their room keys and left behind their personal bags and belongings, according to the sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office said it is in communication with Walt Disney World, Special Olympics, law enforcement and federal partners.
No foul play is suspected, and it is an isolated event, the sheriff’s office said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.
In an Instagram post, Special Olympics Haiti posted about the team’s victory over South Carolina Tuesday afternoon. A spotlight of the missing player, Petit-Frere, is still available on the page, saying in part, “It’s a big joy and honor to be part of the team. I’ll do my best to help the athletes in the USA games Orlando 2022.”
Haiti has been struggling with political, economic and social turmoil for the better part of a decade, rocked by major earthquakes and the assassination of its president exactly 11 months ago.
From 2020 to 2021, the number of Haitians caught trying to get to the U.S. illegally by boat has tripled.