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Mormon missionary electrocuted by live wire in Guatemala

FILE - A 22-year-old sister missionary from Chile died Saturday in Guatemala after she came into contact with a live electrical wire.
FILE - A 22-year-old sister missionary from Chile died Saturday in Guatemala after she came into contact with a live electrical wire.
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SALT LAKE CITY — A Mormon missionary serving in Guatemala died on Saturday after she was electrocuted by a live wire, a church spokesman said Sunday morning.

"It is with great sadness that we share news of the death of a young missionary. Sister Heidi Andrea Ortega Huber, age 22, died yesterday after she came in contact with a live electrical wire," said Eric Hawkins, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in a prepared statement. "Despite attempts by missionaries and first responders to resuscitate her, Sister Ortega passed away."

Ortega was from the Santiago Chile Independencia Stake and has been serving in the Guatemala Guatemala City Central Mission since April 2016.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of Sister Ortega as they mourn her passing," he said, "and we pray they will be given comfort during this difficult time."

In early June, the LDS Church conducted an online survey of its 62,000 young adult, full-time missionaries around the world to learn more about their personal-safety risks.

The survey asked missionaries to share their experiences regarding any past assaults, robberies, attacks, threats, sexual assaults or sexual harassments during their day-to-day operations and in their assigned proselyting areas.

Missionary residences were also a part of the query, with questions on door locks, window coverings, smoke or fire alarms, carbon monoxide monitors and the general safety of the residential area.

The Missionary Department in Salt Lake City and presidents of the faith's 422 missions around the world regularly update missionaries about risks, from counsel about avoiding dangerous areas to protecting themselves from virus-carrying mosquitos.

Young Mormons serving missions generally are safer than other young adults their age, according to international and church statistics.

In 2013, Elder David F. Evans of the Seventy, then executive director of the Missionary Department, noted the annual mortality rate worldwide for young people in the same age range was 205 deaths per 100,000, with the LDS missionary percentage less than one-twentieth of that number.

However, no statistics can lessen the pain of a missionary’s passing, Elder Evans said at the time.