4 Hostages Missing From Group Assembled in Beirut Schoolyard

From a Times Staff Writer

Four of the 39 hijacked hostages were missing Saturday when the group was assembled for interviews in a fenced schoolyard near Beirut airport.

According to reports, Lebanese security sources said the missing Americans are captives of Hezbollah (Party of God), chief rival of the Amal faction in Lebanon’s Shia community, as “guarantees” for the hijackers of TWA Flight 847.

The missing men were identified as Robert G. Brown, 42, of Stow, Mass.; Richard Herzberg, 33, of Virginia Beach, Va.; Jeffrey Ingalls, 24, of Virginia Beach, Va., and Robert Trautmann, 37, of Laredo, Tex.

Herzberg and his wife, Sue Ellen, were honeymooning in Greece when the TWA plane was commandeered by fundamentalist Muslim gunmen June 14. She has been released. Herzberg is an insurance salesman for John Hancock Co.


Trautmann, a land developer, is the son-in-law of hostage Vicente Garza. Five other family members on vacation with them have been released.

Brown was in the Mideast on a business trip representing a small New England medical supply firm. He has a wife and two daughters, ages 13 and 19.

Ingalls is described by friends as an outdoorsman who enjoys camping and skiing. His parents live in New Hampshire.