Miamisburg, OH, United States (4E) – A father of three from Miamisburg, Ohio is detained in North Korea for an unspecified illegal act, his family said on Monday.
In a statement, the family of Jeffrey Fowle, 56, confirmed reports by the North Korean state news agency KCNA that he was detained to be investigated for acts inconsistent with his visit purpose. Department of State spokeswoman Marie Harf confirmed the detention of a U.S. citizen but did not give Fowle’s name and other details of the matter.
A report by CNN affiliate WDTN said Fowle was detained for leaving a Bible at the local hotel where he was staying.
“Mrs. Fowle and the children miss Jeffrey very much and are anxious for his return home,” the family said, according to CNN. “Jeffrey loves to travel and loves the adventure of experiencing different cultures and seeing new places.”
With Fowle’s detention, there are now three U.S. citizens detained in North Korea. Miller Matthew Todd was detained on April 10 after he tore his tourist visa upon arrival at a local airport and declaring he was seeking asylum in the communist country.
Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American missionary, was sentenced to 15 years hard labor in 2013 by a North Korean court for allegedly carrying out acts aimed at bringing down the regime of leader Kim Jong Un.