Kate Puzey, a Georgia native and a graduate of William and Mary College, had been teaching English since July 2007 in the rural village of Badjoude, approximately six hours north of the capital city of Cotonou.
A US State Department official said that she appeared to have been murdered, but neither the Benin government nor the State Department have officially determined her cause of death.
Peace Corps Acting Director Jody Olsen said, "Kate was an exemplary
member of the Peace Corps family whose dedicated work as a secondary
English teacher in a rural public school in Badjoude, Benin,
contributed greatly to the lives of the Beninese citizens. Kate's life
and work spoke volumes about the kind of dedication she had to her
service as a Volunteer, and the U.S. Peace Corps is greatly saddened by
her loss. Our condolences go out to her family and loved ones at this
The Government of Benin has expressed condolences to the U.S. government and pledged their full cooperation and support in this matter.
There was a memorial today in Cotonou, and there will be one Saturday in Georgia, 11 a.m. at the Birmingham United Methodist Church in Alpharetta.
Peace Corps Press Release: Peace Corps Mourns the Loss of Katherine "Kate" Puzey
State Department Statement: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2009/03/120305.htm
Atlanta Journal Constitution obituary: Peace Corps Volunteer's Killing Devastates Relatives in Cumming
ForsythNews.com: Family Mourns Slain Peace Corps Volunteer
WSBTV.com: Metro Atlanta Peace Corps Volunteer Killed
Kate's Blog: Being In Benin