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Nepal Police Search for Body of Slain US Volunteer

  • Associated Press

Police in Nepal said Tuesday that they are searching a river where the body of a 27-year-old teacher from Austin, Texas, was thrown after she was hammered to death.

Authorities are searching the Seti River for the body of Dahlia Yehia, who disappeared from the resort town of Pokhara in western Nepal last month, said police official Hari Bahadur Pal.

Police have arrested a local teacher, Narayan Paudel, who was hosting Yehia while she was in Pokhara to help victims of April's devastating earthquake.

Pal said Paudel confessed to the crime and described how he hammered the victim to death and threw the body into the river. Pal said police found blood-soaked clothes and ropes they believed were used to tie Yehia's body.

Life sentence to be sought

Pal said authorities plan to seek the maximum sentence of life imprisonment for Paudel, 30, but that they need the body to help build a strong case.

Yehia had arrived in Nepal in July and reached Pokhara on Aug. 4, staying with Paudel. She was killed three days later, Pal said.

Paudel was arrested Sept. 2 and confessed the next day, Pal said.

Authorities believe the motive behind the murder was money, with Paudel saying he took money from Yehia, according to Pal.

Following the April 25 earthquake, which killed nearly 9,000 people and damaged hundreds of thousands of houses in Nepal, aid groups and individuals rushed to the South Asian country to help the victims.