DENVER (CBS4) – Michael Sharp was on a mission to the Congo with the United Nations when he was captured.

Most people learned about Sharp’s kidnapping on Monday, though it’s not clear how long it’s been since he’s been gone.

Michael Sharp (credit: CBS)

Friends and family held a vigil at the University of Denver Wednesday night for his safe release.

(credit: CBS)

“I was absolutely floored when I got the news because he had a level of protection that was pretty serious,” Sharp’s friend and DU professor Jonathan Moyer said.

Jonathan Moyer (credit: CBS)

In his job, Moyer says Sharp has worked in some of the world’s most dangerous places, working with advanced special forces.

Sharp is part of the UN’s security council group of experts in the Congo, where the mission to disarm dangerous rebel groups in the region has gone on for a generation.

Michael Sharp (credit: CBS)

Sharp and five other members of his team were captured by an unidentified militia while traveling across the country on motorcycles.

Supporters hope new political pressure will get Sharp home and raise awareness to the devastation in the Congo.

(credit: CBS)

“What we’re trying to do is shine a light on that area more broadly,” Moyer said. “But also to shine a light on ‘MJ’ and the five other people who were kidnapped to try to work so that authorities work more actively for their release.”

The U.S. embassy in Kinshasa and the State Department say they monitoring the situation and doing whatever they can possible to find Sharp.

Michael Sharp (credit: CBS)

 

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