September 5th, 2010
09:05 AM ET

U.S. Peace Corps volunteer shot to death in Lesotho

An American aid worker died from a gunshot wound suffered in the southern African nation of Lesotho, the Peace Corps said in a statement.

Peace Corps volunteer Thomas Maresco, 24, died in the country's capital, Maseru, on Friday.

"We believe this was a robbery," Inspector Lekhotla Mojete, of the Lesotho police, told CNN in a phone interview from Maseru.

"The area the hotel is in is very safe - with not much crime, but we think they were observed leaving the hotel on foot and when they were returning, (an) assailant was waiting outside the Hotel," Mojete said. "The stranger started making demands of them, which they didn't fully understand and (the assailant) then shot the deceased."

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soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Amy

    I was a PCV in Lesotho from 2005-2007 and, even though I never knew Tom, I know the area he lives in well, I know the PC staff he worked for, and I love the people of the country he served in (I have at least ten moms there who are WAY nosier than my own mother). Every time I think about the area he was in (I used to go swimming in the Sun pool during the summer and walk by myself during the day...) I think- that phone call could've been placed to my mother and father... It's not about street smarts because we all did things that put us at risk. Even if you followed every rule, it still could've happened.
    They may never find the culprit and, even if they do, they may never bring him to justice (a rapist in my community never even saw trial)... but Tom will always be remember for what he was doing and the lives he touched. I imagine there are hundreds of people in Thaba-Tseka who are irate at the thought of someone laying even a hand on their precious volunteer. He was loved in Lesotho by many and his loss is felt far beyond those who knew him.

    September 10, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Candice

    I am so sorry for your loss. My brother is there in Maseru as a PCV, was there at the hotel, and I can claim the smallest part of your grief right now–and fear. The strongest thing I can offer is that I have and will pray for your family. I am so sorry for your loss–your son looked and sounded like he had a strong and giving heart. I hope peace will be with you someday.

    September 15, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ann Fouty

    I am so sorry for your loss. Flags for lost PCVs should be lowered for they are truly promoting world peace. I pray for Tom's family and I trust the local government to solve the crime to keep the Peace Corp in the country. God bless Peace Corp volunteers and their work.

    October 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
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