WASHINGTON—The first American reported killed by the earthquake in Haiti has San Diego ties.
Victoria J. DeLong, 57, died Tuesday her home collapsed, said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley.
DeLong, a 27-year diplomat and native of California, was a cultural affairs officer and had been stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince since February of last year. No hometown was immediately available although officials said she had a home in Virginia, and did live in San Diego County.
Former neighbor Donna Smith from Santee said that her and Victoria were friends in the 1980's before she left to work for the State Department in the Philippines. She was recently stationed at the Haitian capital since February of last year.
"She had always wanted to help people, and see the world, and just have great adventures, and be of service at the same time," said Smith.
"In one of the most challenging environments in the world, she dedicated herself to educational and cultural exchange between the people of Haiti and the people of the United States," the State Department said in a notice sent to employees.
Victoria's ex-husband, who still lives in Santee, told Fox 5 that DeLong was first in the Navy from 1972-1976. The couple divorced in 1982.
Crowley said three other Americans were known to be missing and that the embassy had made contact with nearly 1,000 U.S. citizens in Haiti, a small fraction of the estimated 45,000 there.