Fryderyk Frontier

Fryderyk Frontier

Fryderyk "Fred" Mieszko Frontier was a naturalized American citizen who disappeared near Taroko Gorge in Taiwan some time between May 22 and May 26, 2003.

Upbringing and interests

Born Fryderyk Mieszko Veschi in Rome to an Italian father and Polish mother, he and his mother Barbara Klita emigrated to the United States, initially moving to Buffalo, NY, and then to Alaska in 1985. Fred had had little contact with his father and felt unloved by him, so at age 18 he formally changed his name to Fryderyk Frontier in honor of his new home. [Anchorage Daily News, "Alaskan goes to Taiwan to find son who went missing in May", by Tataboline Brant, October 27, 2003] He moved to Seattle in 2000, working at Harborview Medical Center. He was active in political activities such as the Million Marijuana March and the Green Party, and was fluent in Russian, Spanish, and English as well as his native Polish. [Anchorage Daily News, October 27, 2003]


Fred became interested in teaching English overseas, and went to Taiwan to teach there. He had signed up with a large English-teaching chain school to teach in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and was scheduled to begin his teacher training on May 26th. However, before starting his job, he went to Hualien to see Taroko Gorge on May 22nd, and within a few days of arrival there, he vanished. The last communication anyone received from him was a message left on his girlfriend's answering machine in Seattle on May 23rd.

For the first week, little effort was made to find him, as the school he was to work for simply assumed he had skipped out on them. By June 9, the American Institute in Taiwan (the de facto U.S. embassy) began contacting local police stations. On June 28, an APB was finally issued.

His mother, Barbara, flew to Taiwan to try to pressure the police to investigate his disappearance. Amazingly, she was the first one to turn up any new information. In late July, she discovered that Fred had left his baggage at a Catholic hostel near Taroko Gorge. After visiting the hostel, she said that one hostel worker had tried to keep Fred's belongings and had behaved aggressively toward her, and that the other workers refused to identify him to her. [Anchorage Daily News, October 27, 2003] The police searched the area around the gorge for him, but turned up nothing.

Suspiciously, others staying at the hostel reported that his baggaged had disappeared and reappeared even after his own disappearance. His wallet and passport were missing from the baggage, but his wallet and a backpack supposedly turned up ten days later "under a pillow" [Anchorage Daily News, October 27, 2003] ; however, the hostel workers who found it failed to report its sudden reappearance to the police.

Barbara Klita remained in Taiwan, off and on, for nearly two years, publicizing her son's disappearance, holding up a sign in the Taipei subway system begging people to come forward with any information they might have, or that failing, at least to ask the authorities to make a serious effort to determine what had happened to her son.

No further trace of him has been found.


External links

* [ Taipei Times article from 2003, summarizing the case to that point]
* [ Anchorage Daily News, October 27th, 2003]
* [ Juneau Empire newspaper article, October 28th, 2003]
* [ a personal web page of Fred's, with photos of him in various settings]

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