Dahlia Yehia, a 27-year-old American woman who was in Nepal since July to help people affected by the 2015 Nepal Earthquake was beaten to death and her body thrown in a river. According to CNN, Dahlia was beaten to death by a local teacher named Narayan Paudel, who has also confessed to the crime. He also confessed to having thrown Yehia’s body in a river. According to senior Nepali police officials, Dahlia was allegedly killed on August 4. However, Dahlia’s friends and family have claimed that she last made contact with them on August 6. Officials have still not revealed the motive behind the crime.
According to the New York Daily News, Dahlia, who is an art teacher, arrived in Nepal on July 20 with the intention of backpacking the landlocked country and also help earthquake victims in whatever ways possible. She was working at Sci-Tech Preparatory school in Austin, Texas, before coming to Nepal on a one-month visa.
Initial reports say that Dahlia eventually reached the town of Pokhara, where she intended to serve the people affected by the devastating earthquake. There, she met Narayan Paudel, who she was in touch with through a couchsurfing website. The website — which has not been revealed yet — connects travelers to local hosts for affordable accommodations.
The actual circumstances that led to Dahlia’s death remains a mystery. Her body has not been recovered, either.
Meanwhile, with no communication from Dahlia for an extended period of time, her friends and family reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Nepal for help, after which local authorities started an investigation. A Facebook page was also set up for her. A post on the page on September 4 confirmed the news about Dahlia’s death. The post read as follows.
“Recently, we received word from the US Embassy that Dahlia’s life has been taken from us. We do not have any further details at this time and are asking for everyone to respect the privacy for her family. We are devastated by this senseless loss of a beautiful life. For those who haven’t had the joy of spending time with Dahlia, know that she is a giver, lover, and humanitarian, who devoted her life to others less fortunate both domestic and abroad.”
Students at the school in Texas where Dahlia Yehia taught are planning a memorial for her. The Facebook page of the school also posted a statement that read as follows.
“The kids loved having her for their art teacher last year, especially the high school kids who went to the graffiti park downtown on city buses with their backpacks loaded with cans of spray paint!! We are all saddened by the loss of such a special spirit!”
[Image via Facebook]