October 28, 2016 at 12:37 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Zambian asylum seeker reported missing in D.C.

Stukie Situmbeko, asylum seeker, gay news, Washington Blade

Stukie Situmbeko, an asylum seeker from Zambia, was last seen around the Eastern Market area of Southeast D.C. early on Oct. 22, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Center Global)

An asylum seeker who receives support from the D.C. Center for the LGBT Community has been reported missing.

Matthew Corso, chair of Center Global, which works with LGBT asylum seekers, on Thursday said that Stukie Situmbeko stopped responding to emails and posting to social media on Oct. 21.

Corso said in his email to Center Global members and supporters that Situmbeko has not been seen since a D.C. police officer saw him talking on his cell phone near Eastern Market in Southeast Washington at around 4:45 a.m. on Oct. 22.

“Since then, he has not returned any phone calls,” said Corso.

Situmbeko, who is from Zambia, was living with a Center Global volunteer at the time of his disappearance. A missing person’s report was filed with the Metropolitan Police Department on Monday.

Situmbeko was in New York before he moved to D.C. Corso said in his email that Situmbeko “was in the process of filing for asylum” because “he no longer felt safe returning to” Zambia.

Corso said in his email that an officer has been assigned to Situmbeko’s case. Corso wrote he and Eric Scharf of Center Global have also reached out to the volunteer with whom Situmbeko was living when he disappeared and contacts in New York in an attempt to reach friends and family who can potentially locate him.

Center Global also plans to distribute missing flyers around Eastern Market.

“We will be sharing periodic updates as new information becomes available,” said Corso. “For now, please remain hopeful and share your prayers as we continue to search for Stukie.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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