Published: Wed, August 01, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

American college student goes missing while swimming in Israel

American college student goes missing while swimming in Israel

Capilouto says the university has been in constant contact with 19-year-old TeNiya Jones' family after her swimming accident in Tel Aviv. According to one of the students, a strong current pulled the three of them out deeper to sea while they were swimming.

The friends, who also were caught in the current, were able to get to shore and rushed to call authorities, according to a press release from the University of Kentucky.

University officials said in a news release Sunday it happened this weekend in Tel Aviv, Israel, when three students, including 19-year-old TeNiya Elnora Jones, a United Kingdom sophomore from Ft. Jones was studying Arabic.

"The Dunbar family is devastated by the loss of TeNiya, our thoughts and prayers are with her family", said Principal Carl Burnside, Dunbar High School.

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The leader of UK's International Center, which houses the Education Abroad and Exchanges program, Associate Provost Sue Roberts, is also en route to Tel Aviv to meet with officials and Jones' family.

Jones mother, Tosha Thomas-Mora, told the News-Press she received a message late Saturday night that said daughter was missing.

'The furthest I've known her to go is to stand and wade at the shore of the water and take pictures'.

Thomas-Mora will fly to Israel on July 31 to bring her daughter's body home.

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Jones, a 19-year-old biology major with a minor in Islamic studies, was on a weekend visit to Israel from Jordan, where she was enrolled in a seven-week exchange program.

UK Education Abroad officials are now making arrangements for Jones' mother and grandfather to travel to Tel Aviv. The US Embassy in Israel said it has been providing consular services to Jones' family. "We pray, too, for comfort and healing for our other students", Capilouto said. "She wouldn't take a risk like that".

Prior to learning the news, family members and friends said Jones was a fighter and believed she somehow made it out of the water. She has another daughter, 3-year-old Naomi Ruth Mora. "She was supposed to start on August 23", Thomas-Mora said before she broke down in tears.

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