Disappearance of Kazakh student in U.S. still a mystery 5 years later

ASTANA. KAZINFORM - A student from Kazakhstan has disappeared without a trace in the U.S. several years ago. The last time Yerzhan Yelikov, the Bolashak Scholarship recipient, contacted his parents was five years ago. The Pennsylvania police are still unable to trace the native of Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazinform has learnt from KTK TV Channel.

Yerzhan was a low-performing student and the university he attended expelled him. He knew that under the regulations of the Bolashak Scholarship Scheme he would have to return money spent on his education abroad, a source at the Center for International Programs said.

However, Yerzhan's parents claim their son, who majored in gene engineering, was a straight-A student and couldn't vanish mysteriously.

"He congratulated me on the 8th of March 2011 [International Women's Day] and promised to call back later. That was the last time we talked. He had plans, he wanted to continue with his studies," Yerzhan's mother Zyainiy Yelikova said.

His father Serik added: "He had a lot of friends. He would tell someone, let them know he's OK".

"I try not to lose hope. I don't believe that he could stay there and leave us just like that. I hope. I think that president [Nursultan Nazarbayev] will help us. People will help us find our son," Zyainiy stressed.

According to KTK TV Channel, Yerzhan Yelikov has been missing for five years. Search operation launched by the Center for International Programs (CIP) and the Interpol gave absolutely no results.

Instead, the Yelikovs were slapped with a 25 million tenge lawsuit from the CIP. They had to sell their apartment for 4.5 million tenge to reimburse expenses related to Yerzhan's training abroad. Serik and Zyainiy now live with their relatives and still owe the CIP over 20 million tenge.

They still hope their son is alive and are determined to find out what happened. They will seek the university and the FBI help in the investigation.

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