NZ linked to billboards of slain student
A migration and education consultancy that claims to be based in New Zealand has been criticised for using the image of a murdered American student to advertise itself in India.
The News & Observer in North Carolina reports that at least two billboards along a national highway near Munnar in southern India carry the smiling face of Eve Carson, a university student president who was abducted, robbed and shot to death four years ago.
The case made international headlines, and two men were later convicted of her murder.
"I'm surprised and disappointed that somebody is using Eve's image in this way," Chuck Lovelace, executive director of the Morehead-Cain Scholars Program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH).
"It certainly does not honour Eve or her family, and they would not want it to be used in this way."
Ms Carson was a Morehead-Cain Scholar at UNC-CH and Mr Lovelace said he had spoken to her mother about stopping Jubeerich from using Ms Carson's image.
MCT says it's unclear how many billboards in India - or anywhere else - show the Carson photograph. The same image appeared in many news accounts in 2008 and may have been lifted from the internet.
Jubeerich did not respond to e-mail questions from The News & Observer.
Jubeerich's website says it started in 1999 with migration guidance to New Zealand where it has its head office. It had since added other countries to its migration service and guided Indian students to higher studies overseas.
But the website has no contact information for the company in New Zealand and lists four offices in India.
A woman at the corporate office in India said, to her knowledge, there was no such billboard carrying Ms Carson's image.
The woman would not give her name, and she said the office's manager was "on leave".
Jubeerich is also not listed in New Zealand's white pages, but the websites of several New Zealand tertiary institutions list it as an education consultant in India.