Parents of Slain Volunteer Say Peace Corps Error Led to Murder

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The only public reference is a 2009 report by the Peace Corps Inspector General which says an investigation found "there was a direct link between the leaked information and a local criminal investigation." There is no specific reference to Benin or to Kate Puzey.

To date, the Peace Corps has made no public acknowledgement of the breach of confidentiality nor apologized to the Puzey family.

Carrie Hessler-Radelet, the Peace Corps deputy director, refused to say whether the agency bore any responsibility for Kate Puzey's death, citing the ongoing criminal investigation in Benin.

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"I cannot say because the investigation is not complete," she told ABC News.

In a written statement, the Peace Corps said its reluctance to comment was based on the risk of "compromising the investigation or any prosecution of the case."

Hessler-Radelet also cited the ongoing criminal investigation in declining to comment on the Peace Corps Inspector General's investigation, which is complete.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PEACE CORPS STATEMENT

Puzey Family: 'Radio Silence' From Peace Corps

The Puzey family says the Peace Corps was "insensitive" in its treatment of them until officials learned ABC News had begun to look into the case.

Before that, the Puzeys say there was "radio silence" from Peace Corps officials, who arranged for their daughter's belongings to be delivered unceremoniously in a cardboard box left in the driveway.

"She was a hero," said Kate's father Harry. "And I thought maybe a representative would come or at least a letter in the box. Just a delivery man showed up with a box and that was it."

The Peace Corps says it is has now changed its procedures for dealing with the families of volunteers killed overseas.

Still, the Puzeys say much more could be done, including legislation that would give volunteers the same whistleblower protections afforded employees of the federal government.

"We want the Peace Corps to improve, to be what Kate Puzey wanted the Peace Corps to be and thought the Peace Corps could be and that's our mission," said Kate's father, Harry.

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Angela M. Hill, Hanna Siegel and Chris James contributed to this report.

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