A recent graduate of the College of William & Mary has beenfound dead in the West African nation of Benin.
The body of Kate Puzey, 24, a Peace Corps volunteer, wasdiscovered outside her home and government officials believe shewas murdered.
The State Department is working with authorities on the groundin Benin and with Puzey's fellow Peace Corps volunteers to find outexactly how she was killed.
After graduating from William and Mary in 2006, Puzey left thecomforts of Williamsburg and headed for the desperatelyimpoverished nation of Benin.
She spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer, teachingchildren to speak English.
Despite the difficult conditions, Kate loved her time there andcherished the people.
Then, a few days ago, Puzey was killed.
Her parents, in Atlanta are devastated. Kate was their onlydaughter.
"Kate loved the Peace Corps. She loved the Peace Corps. Sheloved the work," cried her father, Harry Puzey.
Puzey's family says they've been told investigators in Beninhave a suspect and believe this was a murder.
"She said, 'Daddy nothing is going to happen to me but, ifanything does, I want you to know that I am doing exactly what Iwant to do,'" said her father.
A Peace Corps official is expected to accompany Kate's body fromAfrica back to Atlanta in a few days.
The College of William & Mary released the followingstatement:
"We are deeply saddened to hear this tragic news. Kate Puzey was one of us -- a member of the William & Mary family who after graduation decided she wanted to help others, to make a difference in this world, so she volunteered with the Peace Corps and taught English to a small village in rural Africa. She was by all accounts a remarkable person and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kate's friends and family."
Brian Whitson, Director of News Services
Peace Corps director Jody Olsen says Puzey was an exemplaryvolunteer for the agency in Benin where she taught at a ruralschool in the village of Badjoude about six hours from the
capital of Cotonou.
"Kate's life and work spoke volumes about the kind of dedicationshe had to her service as a volunteer, and the U.S. Peace Corps isgreatly saddened by her loss," Olsen said in a
Puzey had been working for the Peace Corps in Benin since July2007.
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