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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Journalist Found Slain in Almaty

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- An American director of a journalism training program was found killed in his apartment Thursday in the Kazakh capital.

Chris Gehring, 28, whose throat was slit, was discovered by colleagues who became concerned when he failed to show up for work, his office manager Karlygash Zhakanova said.

The motive was unclear. There were no signs of a break-in and nothing appeared to be missing from the apartment, Zhakanova said.

The American Embassy in Almaty, Kazakhstan's capital, issued a statement saying "we were deeply shocked and saddened'' by Gehring's death.

Gehring, a native of Arkansas, was the director of Internews Network in Central Asia, a nonprofit organization based in Arcata, California.

The Moscow office of Internews issued a statement mourning Gehring's death. "His work with the independent media in Central Asia touched the lives of many, many people," it said.

Gehring, who formerly worked for CNN Headline News and the ABC Moscow bureau, managed Internews Network's operations in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan since May 1995. With funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development, Internews is providing training programs for journalists and managers of independent television and radio stations and newspapers in Kazakhstan and other former Soviet republics.

Gehring said last month that he was worried about an upcoming government auction for broadcast frequencies in Kazakhstan, which many expect to drive most of the country's independent television and radio stations out of business.