Neal M. Eldrenkamp
38 Years Old

January 5, 1959 to September 18, 1997

Neal Eldrenkamp grew up in Denver, Colorado. He graduated in 1977 from Denver Christian High School. He attended Calvin College and Kendell School of Art and Design. He served a short time as a missionary in Nigeria, Africa and earned a masters degree at Wheaton College in Illinois. He worked in Ecuador with Christian Reformed World Missions and International Fellowship of Evangelical Students for six years.

Neal left behind his wife, Ruth (who was 7 months pregnant at the time), son Jonathan, 4, and daughter, Luana, 1 and 1/2. The new baby, Natalia, was born November 22, 1997.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

Neal Eldrenkamp was shot and killed on Thursday evening while doing work in Quito, Ecuador. Neal and Ruth and their 2 children were driving on the outskirts of Quito when he stopped to do some filming. As he was filing with his son Jonathan at his side, he was approached by 3 armed men who took his camera and demanded the vehicle. Neal gave them the keys saying, "take the car, leave my family." The gunmen got in the car and one of them was demanding Ruth and her daughter Luana to get in the back seat. Neal, who approached the vehicle in concern for his wife and daughter, was shot three times in the chest as he held his son Jonathan in his arms. Ruth broke free of the men as shots were fired. She was chased and threatened by one of the attackers before they drove off. Neal sacrificed his life for the evangelization of the university students of Latin America, and in the final moments laid down his life for his family.

The police found the three men who stole the car and Neal's life from his family. The men are in jail in Quito, Ecador, they have been tried and convicted and given the maximum sentence of sixteen years that can be reduced for "good behavior."

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Neal Eldrenkamp