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'My son was likely murdered', says mother of US student found dead in Siberia

By 0 and 0 and 0
07 April 2016


Dana Madsen-Calcutt: 'I have so many other things to tell you about this debacle but I might not ever be ready to talk about it.' Picture: Arigus TV

Grieving American mother Dana Madsen-Calcutt, 55, accuses police in the Republic of Buryatia of failing to search properly for her 25 year old son who she fears was killed. His body was found near the tourist village of Arshan on Monday, eight days after he vanished from a guest house where he was staying with friends. 

In a stinging Facebook post, she said: 'The murder investigation is still open and I hate to even think it, but I believe barring some medical catastrophe like an aneurysm or pulmonary embolus, that it is likely. 

'He would have never walked to a place in the pitch dark with his shoes unlaced, no socks, and when he was leaving for a climb in just a few hours that he was so excited about.'

Colin Madsen

Colin Madsen

'There a is so much misinformation out that makes him appear foolish and they are simply not correct. It is very hurtful to his family.'  Pictures: Facebook

She was scathing about the role of the local police, but praised the 'Russian FBI' - meaning the Investigative Committee. 'I believe that the local police here did not do their job and even to me made innuendos and remarks that were defamatory about Colin, when they didn't know him and should have been looking for him,' she said. I think they are trying to cover up the ineptitude that occurred here before we came - and the pressure to find him was accelerated.'

She had flown to Russia to help with the search for her son. She appealed through Facebook: 'Help me if you can get the right information out there. He deserves better than this. Corruption, cover up abounds here in this place but I am so grateful for the Russian FBI, all of the volunteers, and Colin's dear, dear, friends.'

Specifically, she claimed: 'I want to know if any of you can help me get the right information about Colin out to the press. There a is so much misinformation out that makes him appear foolish and they are simply not correct. It is very hurtful to his family. 

Colin with Dana

Colin and Cale

Colin Madsen with his mother Dana(up) and his brother Cale(bottom). Pictures: Dana Madsen-Calcutt

'A. He did not go out in a T-shirt, it was a long sleeve thermal shirt. 

'B. There is no substantiation that he went or told any one he was going outside for a walk. The bathrooms are outside, in an out house. 

'C. If Colin did any drugs (which we don't know) he would have smoked marijuana and that was hours before this event occurred. There was no alcohol involved.

'D. There were not sub zero temps that night. I have been told it was warm, and if anyone knows Colin, he had an incredible tolerance to cool weather. 

'E. He was familiar with this place that he loved to hike, spoke fluent Russian, and had his pack, water and food ready for the climb. Those things were left at the cabin.

'F. He was found a mile a way, one day after the Russian FBI came. Not huddled or covered with leaves but flat on his back in grass with his sleeves pushed up, his boots unlaced, no socks on, his eyes and mouth open. He was not in snow but on the grass under a tree.' She said that an 'unscrupulous rescuer' took a picture of his body 'and sold it to a Russian tabloid.'

'G. We know he wasn't suicidal, he was excited about wanting to work in the (consulate) in Vladivostok or the UN. 

'H. He Loved his friends and family.'


Private possessions


No signs of robbery. Colin's documents and money were found untouched on his body. Pictures: Investigative Committee in Buryatia

She criticised the media that 'directly wrote that Colin took some drug substance with his friends in the night and it could be the reason of his death' - that 'he smoked too much marihuana and this made him to go to the forest in the middle of the night'.

She added: 'The autopsy was done yesterday (and I hate to say it was in this place). Colin will be taken to Irkutsk today and then we will fly to Moscow and home, hopefully in a few days. I have so many other things to tell you about this debacle but I might not ever be ready to talk about it.'

She stressed: 'I also want to tell all of you how proud I am to be from the U.S. Our two consulate friends from the Moscow U.S. embassy, Courtney and Vassily, have been by our side every step of the way with compassion, wisdom, and love.'

There was no outward sign of injury on Madsen's body, nor any indication he had been robbed, according to local reports. Tests were being conducted for signs of drugs. 

His travelling companions had taken drugs the day before his disappearance. Madsen had been travelling with three friends, two local Russians and another American student on exchange, like him, at a university in Irkutsk. 

In a stinging Facebook post, Dana said: 'The murder investigation is still open and I hate to even think it, but I believe barring some medical catastrophe, that it is likely.' Picture: Facebook

Dana's post

Comments (8)

Its very sad what happened to this young man. For the family,there grief will never be overcome. To those who are defending the murderers,remember such a thing can happen to your loved ones too.Show compassion
bharat, India
10/04/2016 13:17
American boy in Russia is definitely exposed to a high risk - from trivial robbery of rich boy (US boy is definitely may be perceived as such in Russia) to a hostility toward foreigner winch could get through during alcohol or/and drag party (a very common for "boys" around the glob). I would say it is more surprise that such accidents happen quite rarely with US boys in Russia; I guess a very few such adventurous fellow are out there... Anyway, it's a tragedy for any mom to lose son irrelevantly the cause... my condolences...
Stefan, Tokio
10/04/2016 05:32
Mr. Benedikt
Your comments reflect your lack of compassion and understanding of a grieving mother. How calm would you be if a photograph of your dead child was shown in some sleazy tabloid. By the way, how do you know she was shouting unless you were there.
Dan , Missouri
08/04/2016 21:45
To Benedikt, Dana Madsen knew her son very well, he was brought up very well and was a respectable young man, who lived a life of doing right and helping others. Every article you read is always different and a lot of untruth. Don't bad mouth this family cause you don't know them.
Debbie, United States
08/04/2016 10:10
Yes, Carol, better send your kids to Europe, to get blown up by Arab terrorists.
Sergei Levchenko, Richmond, Canada
08/04/2016 08:15
Understanding how devastating this tragedy is for Colin's family and friends, I would agree with letting the Russian FBI please do their job. I would also echo everyone who is asking for help with information on what really happened. I would also please be very careful about jumping to conclusions about how safe people are traveling to Russia. We have rampant corruption at local and state police levels here in the United States that has to be dealt with as well.
Pamela Tetarenko, League City, USA
07/04/2016 20:37
Sad story,wish you well Maám..May your son RIP.Please do not let your kids got to is a very dangerous place!Go to other countries instead!God bless America.
Carol Dijkhuyzen, Tilburg,The Netherlands
07/04/2016 19:49
how good do parents know their kids? and he was a grown up. she should keep from shouting and mouthing around. and wait for the authorities to come to the conclusions.
Benedikt, Moscow
07/04/2016 19:35

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