Nancy Ng: What Happened to the Missing Yoga Woman in Guatemala?

Nancy Ng, a woman from California, mysteriously disappeared while kayaking on Lake Atitlán in Guatemala more than a month ago.

Ms Ng reportedly went on the kayaking trip with 10 other people from a yoga retreat where she was spending a break away from work.

Authorities believe Ms Ng drowned while out on the lake. But that theory has been disputed by family members who wonder why the last people to see Ms Ng have reportedly not cooperated with the state's investigation.

After weeks of investigative teams giving very little information about Ms Ng's recovery, small details are slowly emerging – with a key witness finally speaking out.

Ms Ng has still not been found. All she's left with now is a haunting video of the missing woman saying goodbye to the shore before joining her fellow kayakers on their journey.

Here's everything we know so far about Nancy Ng's disappearance:

Who is Nancy Ng?

Nancy Ng, a 29-year-old school aide who helps students with disabilities, started a yoga retreat for the second year in a row, but what was supposed to be yet another peaceful escape from her everyday life turned into a nightmare.

Ms. Ng lives in Monterey Park, California with her family nearby. She is a fitness fanatic and holds a law degree from California State University.

On October 14, Ms Ng left for Guatemala to spend some time around Lake Atitlán at a yoga retreat before planning to fly home.

What happened to her?

On October 19, Ms Ng disappeared.

Her family told ABC7 that retreat organizers called them to say they hadn't seen her after a kayak trip she took with other retreat participants.

He left with a group to go on a kayaking trip as part of the retreat, never to return.

Local authorities believe Ms Ng drowned, but her family believes there was more to the story as it reportedly took the group about 24 hours to report her missing.

After 72 hours, the marine team called off the search for the missing woman, prompting her family to return to California to hire professional boaters and ask locals to be careful.

By October 24, the family had hired an extensive team of private helicopters, boats, divers and drones to search for the missing woman.

However, those in Ms Ng's kayaking group had reportedly fled the country and were not cooperating with search teams, who could have provided them with crucial information to locate the missing woman.

Jared Lopez, the partner of Ms Ng's sister Nicky, said the lack of information has severely hampered the efforts of their search teams.

The last known video of Nancy Ng shows her waving at the camera while kayaking


Last appearances of Nancy

Since Ms Ng's disappearance, an eerie video has been released, capturing the moment Ms Ng paddled away in her kayak moments before she disappeared.

Ms Ng took one last look and waved at the camera before sailing off with the kayaks before disappearing.

Reports came in to firefighters and rescue workers in the area, who say they found Ms Ng about half a mile off shore and that her kayak was later found empty, according to ABC News..

Local authorities and prosecutors said Ms Ng probably drowned.

The main witness speaks

After nearly four weeks of waiting for witnesses to speak about what happened to Ms Ng, her family finally heard from the last person who saw her.

Christina Blazek, a San Bernadino County public defender, was named as the last person to see Ms. Ng before she disappeared.

Ms. Blazek and other witnesses have been barraged by case fans and family trying to understand why it took them so long to cooperate.

But G. Christopher Gardner, Ms. Blazek's lawyer, denied that his client was uncooperative and said he spoke to Guatemalan police after Ms. Ng disappeared.

“To say my client hasn't done everything she can is not true,” the lawyer told ABC News.

Mr Gardner claimed Ms Ng and his client did not go anywhere together. Instead, they bumped into each other in the lake and chatted with each other.

While out at the lake, Ms Blazek said, through her lawyer, that Ms Ng stated she wanted to go for a swim.

Ms Blazek allegedly tried to stop the woman from swimming “because it was rough out there and there was a good current”, Mr Gardner said.

But according to the latest witness, Ms Ng ignored Ms Blazek's alleged pleas and waded into the water, thereby pushing her kayak away.

Mr Gardner then claimed his client tried to retrieve Ms Ng's kayak by holding one foot on her boat and another foot on the other kayak and approached Ms Ng to push it back at her.

“And then apparently, he lost the kayak again and turned around to go back to get the kayak again, and when he turned back, Ms Ng was gone,” the lawyer said.

After that, Mr Gardner said Ms Blazek went to get help and an emergency call was sent.

Ms. Blazek and other witnesses were previously rumored to have fled the country almost immediately after the incident, but her lawyer told ABC News that she talked to the local authorities, even trying to give them places to look, but because she wasn't familiar with the area, the directions weren't specific.

After giving a full statement to the police, “she was told there was nothing that could be done. Apparently, this lake is known for having people drown on it,” the lawyer said.

Ng's family is accused of making threats

Although Ms Blazek is reportedly complying with police, Ms Ng's family are still baffled as to why she has left them in the dark for weeks.

The Ng family said they tried to reach Ms. Blazek several times, first by sharing her number with the yoga instructor at the shelter and through other contacts, ABC News reported..

They said they sent two emails – one on October 25 and another on October 31 – but did not receive a response from Ms Blazek either time.

However, her lawyer claimed Ms Blazek had been traumatized by the ordeal and needed time to be able to speak.

“These [the family] they tell her they understand she's been through a traumatic experience, but then tell her she needs to come forward to help the authorities… and say in the same email if she doesn't come forward they'll make her come forward,” Mr Gardner said.

The family denied to ABC News that the Oct. 31 email contained a threat and shared their email with the agency, which includes questions about why Ms. Blazek is silent and ends by saying that if she doesn't cooperate, they will “look into the matter.”

“We are not accusing anyone or accusing anyone of anything. All we want are answers and we want to bring Nancy home,” Ms Ng's sister told the agency.

The witnesses “didn't say a word”

Lee and Elaine Beal, the owners of the kayak company that rented the boats to the group, spoke last week about what they witnessed amid Ms Ng's disappearance.

The couple said a group of 10 people, including Ms Ng, left by kayak on Oct 19.

“When the group returned, there were only eight of them, but we could see in the distance, about 100 yards away, two single kayaks,” said Mr Beal Lee, who believed it was Ms Ng and another woman.

“We watched them as they continued to row until we lost sight of them,” he said.

Ms Blazek's lawyer claimed a distress signal was raised and Mr Beal said he saw the other woman being driven ashore.

“I saw the survivor walking up the steps with the yoga instructor. She was clearly upset and they didn't say a word to us,” Mrs Beal told the ABC.

The couple said they called the hotel the next day because the excursion had not been paid for, but were told the group had already left. Elaine said, according to ABC News.

The key element that doesn't add up for the family is the lack of communication between witnesses and those who could help find their beloved family member – if it was a drowning and it was accidental, why did it take so long for people to speak up?

“There are people who witnessed what happened, within the group, who have not come forward,” Ms Ng's sister told the ABC. in an earlier interview.

“We're racking our brains as to why they wouldn't want to come forward and help if nothing bad was going on.”

Ms Ng's family is still seeking answers and is appealing for witnesses to come forward. They hope to hear from Ms. Blazek.