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Ethiopian Police Arrest Suspect in Death of US Diplomat 


Police in Ethiopia say they have arrested a suspect in connection with the apparent murder of a junior U.S. diplomat earlier this month in Addis Ababa. Details of the man's death are still sketchy, more than a week after he was found dead in his home.

Ethiopian police are revealing few details of their investigation into the death of 25-year-old U.S. diplomat Brian Adkins. Police spokesman Demsash Hailu says they have one suspect, an Ethiopian man, in custody.

"He is arrested from the northern part of Ethiopia. And he came [has been brought] to Addis, and after we conclude the investigation, we release to the press, and at this stage it is too early to say something, but it is true, we caught the suspect," the spokesman said.

The suspect was not identified. He was taken into custody in a remote village in the Wollo region, hundreds of kilometers from the scene of the crime.

A U.S. embassy spokesman says police found items belonging to Adkins in the suspect's possession. Local media reported those items included a laptop computer, cellphone and camera.

Adkins was a consular officer at the U.S. embassy in Addis Ababa. He was found dead in his residence, February 2, after he failed to show up for work. The discovery came two days before Adkins was to have celebrated his 26th birthday.

Police and diplomatic sources at the time confirmed that the death was the result of foul play.

Adkins, a graduate of George Washington University in Washington, was a popular member of the embassy staff, and one senior member of the American community Wednesday said nine days after his body was discovered, the embassy remains in mourning.

U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Donald Yamamoto said the embassy staff is routinely advised to exercise caution in their personal lives. Yamamoto said the advisory includes cautions against walking at night and bringing strangers home. He said there has been no heightened alert in the wake of Adkins' death.

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