LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT)- According to the University of Kentucky, a student studying abroad this summer in the Middle East has gone missing.
Reports say that a body has been found in the Mediterranean sea near where University of Kentucky student TeNiya Nora Jones went missing.
Jones, a 19-year-old sophomore from Ft. Myers, Fla., was swimming in the Mediterranean Sea Saturday evening in Tel Aviv, Israel with two other students. One of the students reported that they got caught up in a strong current and were pulled out. Two of the students were able to make it back to the shoreline, Jones did not.
According to a press release from the university, the students called Israeli officials, who initiated a major search and rescue effort.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with TeNiya, her family and the students and others impacted,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “We are in continual contact with Teniya’s family, officials in Israel, officials from the State Department and our Congressional delegation, to provide all the support we can for the family, students and others involved. We will do everything possible to provide whatever support is needed.”
Jones was a part of a program focused on the Arabic language. The student group was made up of seven students from UK, and two students from West Virginia University. The program was based in Amman, Jordan. Jones along with two other UK students and one from West Virginia University traveled to Tel Aviv for the weekend. Shortly after midnight in Israel, the three UK students went swimming. One stayed behind in a Tel Aviv hotel.
Late Saturday evening, Jones’ family was alerted. UK Education Abroad officials are making arrangements for Jones’ mother and grandfather to travel to Tel Aviv. Associate Provost Sue Roberts, who leads UK’s International Center, home to Education Abroad and Exchanges, is also traveling to Israel to meet with the family and officials.
The program, which began in June, was scheduled to be completed this week.