Peace Corps worker shot in Losetho

Sept. 5, 2010 at 12:32 PM

MASERU, Lesotho, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- A U.S. aid worker was fatally shot while returning from a Peace Corps event in Maseru, Lesotho, the aid organization said in a statement.

Police said robbery was the apparent motive when Thomas Maresco, 24, and a female companion were attacked Friday while returning to the organization's center from an event, CNN reported Sunday.

"The area the hotel is in is very safe -- with not much crime, but we think they were observed leaving the hotel on foot and when they were returning, (an) assailant was waiting outside the hotel," Lesotho police Inspector Lekhotla Mojete told CNN. "The stranger started making demands of them, which they didn't fully understand and (the assailant) then shot the deceased."

He said the woman accompanying Maresco ran back into the hotel for help, but police were unable to find the gunman when the arrived on scene.

"We believe this was a robbery," Mojete said, adding that no arrests have been made.

A statement by the Peace Corps said Maresco, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., taught secondary education worked on raising HIV awareness in the Thaba-Tseka district since November 2009. Maresco was scheduled to serve until January 2012.

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