Athlete told police she left track meet due to civil unrest in Ethiopia

Athlete told police she left track meet due to civil unrest in Ethiopia »Play Video
Thee whereabouts of Amanuel Abebe Atibeha, 17; Dureti Edao, 18; Meaza Kebede, 18; and Zeyituna Mohammed, 18, have not been confirmed since they were reported missing Saturday.

EUGENE, Ore. - One of the Ethiopian athletes found safe after disappearing from the IAAF World Junior Championships told police in Washington that she plans to seek asylum in the United States.

Zeyituna Mohammed, one of the four runners who were the subject of a missing persons case, said the four left the meet due to civil unrest in Ethiopia.

The missing person cases were closed after all 4 athletes told authorities they left of their own accord and were safe.

Three of the athletes were found in Beaverton.

The fourth - Mohammed - was discovered when a man identified as Rashad Wako called Eugene Police Department indicating Mohamed was in no danger and staying with him and his family in Federal Way, Washington, according to a police report.

Federal Way Police went to the home and made contact with Mohammed.

When interviewing her, Mohammed told police she ran races at the World Juniors in Eugene, then decided to leave the campus with three other runners by simply walking away.

She told police the decision was made due to civil unrest in Ethiopia.

She said she probably wants to stay in the US and may seek asylum in the US, but her plans aren’t certain as of now.

Mohammed told police one of the older runners made phone calls and facilitated Mohamed getting picked up by Rashad Wako.

Mohammed and Wako are from the same village in Ethiopia, which is how the connection was made.