Reports Say Body of Missing Adventist Doctor Found

December 10, 2015 | Jay Wintermeyer
Adapted from the Upper Columbia Conference.

Police in Kiev, Ukraine, say they have identified a body recovered from an abandoned building as that of Dr. Jay Sloop, the Seventh-day Adventist physician from Yakima, Wash. who went missing while on a health training visit to the country in May 2013.

According to preliminary reports, Sloop’s body was recovered from a building next to the park where he went missing Tuesday, May 14, 2013. Officials say the building was abandoned at the time of the doctor’s disappearance. Renovation work on the building recently began which led contractors to make the discovery.

Although clothing and wallet contents led to the initial identification full DNA testing has not yet been completed. Police are also currently conducting a forensic investigation to determine more details.

Prior to his disappearance, Sloop had been serving on a three-week mission trip with a team of health professionals helping the Adventist church in Kiev set up a lifestyle center. As was his custom, Sloop went for an early-morning walk on May 14. His fellow team members became concerned when he did not arrive at the appointed time for breakfast.

An extensive search at the time, which involved hundreds of people, including U.S. Embassy personnel, bloodhounds from Ukraine and Germany and a city-wide media blitz, turned up no evidence leading to Sloop's whereabouts.

Jay Sloop served as a physician in Yakima, Wash., until he retired. In retirement he stayed actively involved in health outreach, including service as health ministries director for the Upper Columbia Conference in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of northeastern Oregon.

Paul Hoover, Upper Columbia Conference president, said, “We grieve with the Sloop family and we look forward to the day when we will see Jay again in heaven. He was a light and an encouragement to so many in Yakima, the Northwest and around the world. I invite you to join me in praying for Jay’s entire family in this difficult time.”