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. robin poe

    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends as I am the mother of a Peace Corps volunteer who served in Africa for three years. I know my son faced some dangerous moments, but I can't imagine the agony his family must feel. This young man sacrificed all to serve and this is greatness. Again, my prayers are for comfort in this time of grief.

    September 5, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chuff

    This is like the ONLY way Lesotho could get mentioned in the news, isn't it?
    And now that this U.S. Peace Corps volunteer is dead, what now? What justice can be found in such a place?

    September 5, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. timing


    September 5, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Augustine makhiringa

    Its very sad that a volunteer is killed like that.its high time Africans did something about the murders of these our samaritans

    September 6, 2010 at 3:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. peter mills South Africa

    Africa will not do a thing to prevent this kind of murder,from continuing. The politicians have small armies of personal bodyguards, and they afford these small armies, by stealing from the ignorant people who put them in power. the ignorant then steal from who ever does not have a "small army of bodyguards" this is Africa.

    September 6, 2010 at 5:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. John Storer

    It's not fair to suggest that "this is Africa". Our son was in Western Africa in the Peace Corps and did not experience anything like what you describe. My wife and I visited him there and had a wonderful time. Perhaps the fact that he spoke the local language fluently helped! The people were all very friendly. Africa is a huge place. Some countries there are ok, some maybe not so ok.

    September 6, 2010 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Rikki

      It does not say he did not speak the language, it said the demands weren't clear...HUGE difference.

      September 7, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. philipe12

    This sort of violence is intolerable. Kind of reminds me personally of when Israeli's murdered Rachel Corrie.

    September 6, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  8. termlimits

    This is the chance you take going to a 3rd world country. They have nothing and want your something. Sad but true!

    September 6, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. Peace Corps Mom

    I can't even begin to know the depth of what your family is going through. I too have a daughter who in in Lesotho as a Peace Corps volunteer and I know that your son made a difference in this world. He gave his life for his dream of helping someone other than himself and to me he is a hero. My daughter has had nothing but wonderful things to say about the people of Lesotho and I hope that one mans senseless act does not stop the good that these young adults are doing. I will keep you family in my prayers.

    September 6, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kellie

    I am sorry for the family's loss and the lady's involved that got away. I do understand the family's loss as I lost my son. My prayers are with you all. It really sucks that the news we count on cant get the story right.

    September 6, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ralph J. Salerno

    My Daughter was friends with Tom. She told Me that He was a very fine young Man! What a waste of a beautifull life. And I would bet that the murdering piece of slime that did this is never caught.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. PSL Resident

    To live for nothing or die for something is a saying that I think of when it comes to this murder. This young man went to another country to help people live. Amazing! A person so young can have such a heart for others. Not sure if we will ever find out what exactly happen but have faith and keep his family in your prayers. RIP TM.

    September 7, 2010 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  13. Nathan

    I'm a PCV in Senegal. My heart goes out to Tom's family. Acts of random violence are something that we all fear- for ourselves, our families and others around us.

    September 7, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Another peace corps mom

    My son is also a PCV in Lesotho who knew Tom well. He has nothing but great things to say about your son. In all the Peace Corps pictures, his smile seems to come off the page at you! He is clearly a young man who embraced life. I can't even fathom what this loss feels like. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    September 7, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jon Z.

    Tom's father was a childhood friend of mine and my heart is very saddened by this brutal and senceless killing. Tom Jr was a genuine human being wanting nothing more than to help in a country desperatly in need of assistance. The world needs more people like this in it. Peace to the Maresco family. Surely his light shines bright in the sky. What a fine young man he was to live helping others... RIP.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
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