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SIL Mourns Deaths of Two Colleagues in Guyana

Richard and Charlene HicksDALLAS, TX (March 31, 2005) Early Thursday morning SIL International was informed of the deaths of Richard and Charlene Hicks who have been involved in volunteer service with the Wapishana language development project since 1994.

The U.S. Embassy in Georgetown reported that the details surrounding their deaths are inconclusive at this point, but that local officials are investigating the incident as a double homicide. On Wednesday evening, March 30, it was found that the couple’s home, located in southern Guyana near the Brazilian border, had burned. Later their bodies were discovered.

Charlene, 58, a U.S. citizen, grew up in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri and Arkansas. When Charlene finished college she became a teacher, a vocation that took her to several countries. Richard, 42, a Canadian, grew up in South Africa. After he completed college, he worked in Nova Scotia.

After further education in Saskatchewan and an extended visit to Guatemala, Richard began linguistics training in Dallas where he met Charlene in January 1990. The couple was married in March 1992. Two years later they went to Guyana to join the Wapishana language development project.