Telaumbanua left his house in the northern Nias town of Gunungsitoli aboard a motorcycle, taking along a tape recorder and camera. He told his wife that he would return from a reporting assignment in a few days, according to Berita Sore, a Medan-based newspaper.
The journalist was reported missing five days later, according to the newspaper and the local journalists' group Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI). An editor for Berita Sore told local reporters that Telaumbanua may have disappeared while reporting on a murder in the district of Teluk Dalam, in southern Nias.
Telaumbanua had recently reported on alleged corruption involving local officials in Nias, sources told CPJ. Fears have focused on a possible abduction; initial news report said that the journalist had been taken by a group of people.