Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Gone Girls

My photo of Boquete, Panama.

When we were in Boquete Panama last winter, we learned of two mysterious deaths. The facts of the case were very bizarre, eerily strange and the kind of thing that great mystery books are made of. But, unfortunately, this case is not fiction. It's real life. And the fact that it still remains unsolved, just makes it even more compelling. 

The case stuck with us. In fact, we still talk about it. 

On April 1st, 2014, two young Dutch girls named Kris and Lisanne decided to hike on the El Pianista trail near Boquete, Panama. We had dinner right by it. It's beautiful. Boquete is a mountain paradise. In fact, rainbows are almost an everyday occurrence. But even a delicate rose has multiple, prickly thorns. 

The girls left their hostel, started the jungle hike and documented their expedition, by taking numerous photos. They even took a photo at the El Mirador lookout at exactly 1 pm. Two hours after the last breathtaking, rain forest photo was taken, Kris was making the first of many calls to 112. The emergency line. The last call came in on April 3rd. 

Despite an exhaustive search, they were never found.

Seventy-two days later, a blue back pack was found beside the Culubre river by an indigenous couple. The location where the back pack was found is a grueling, twelve hour hike away from the El Pianista trail and the El Mirador look out, where we know they started their doomed hike. It contained Lisanne's passport, $83 in cash, two pairs of sunglasses, their cameras, and two bras. It didn't appear wet. There was also one other object resting at the edge of the scene.  A lonely shoe.

The shoe contained a human foot.

But, it just gets weirder. One week after the girls went missing, one of their cameras recorded 87 new black, completely blank photos, taken between 1 and 4 am. There were also 3 photos of night scenes, basically just rocks and branches, to make a total of 90 photos.


Eventually, more bones were discovered. Twenty-eight to be exact, of the 206 that a body contains. And they belonged to the girls.

 There are multiple theories. 

Did they fall from a cliff into the river?
Were they attacked by animals?
Did they simply get lost?

Or...was it murder.

For more on beautiful Boquete, Panama, visit Sharon's Paws Create this week.


DJan said...

How grisly! I wonder what happened and if we will ever know. Very strange story, Sharon.

Linda Hensley said...

My brother was obsessed by reports in the US of missing girls and finding female feet. The theory is that it would keep girls running away from the sex trade. Whatever happened, it goes to show there are some truly evil people in the world.

Marie C said...

I have to admit I am fascinated by crime stories, real and fiction. We watch Investigation ID all the time. There's a joke between my husband and myself when someone "gets away with murder" that we are going to "put them on the list" (meaning one day we will go on a cross-country trip, hunt all these monsters down and kill them! Justice served....but it's just a dark joke. :-) ) There's nothing more horrible than losing a child, and having to deal with that horror when the case is not solved, or remains unsolved for years and years and then finally the person who committed the crime gets a slap on the wrist. I started a crime mystery book years ago, and never finished it. I just don't really want to write genre fiction, but back then my husband and I owned a private investigation company, and well, it seemed inevitable that I had to start a book like that! :-) Before you ask...being a private investigator was extremely boring and unsatisfying work. I'd have loved it if it had been more like tv...now I just watch the fantasy stuff on tv! :-) The problem is, when you are working for the Defense there is no money to pay you. So, they ask you to get pictures of the crime scene, or interview a few people, but that's all they want to spend the money on. I learned fast that the Prosecution has very deep pockets, and it's no wonder sometimes innocent people end up in prison, especially when suppressing evidence is a practice the Prosecution sometimes resorts to! The Defense has very little help on their side. Mostly we worked infidelity cases, and that was a horror unto itself! :-) But I digress....

This case is awful and I feel so horrible for the families! Perhaps one day it will be solved. I hope so.

Joyful said...

Very strange indeed. I was just talking with a friend today over fascinations with crime stories. It is really so sad what happened to these girls. I hope some day there can be answers for the families and loved ones. It is a beautiful photo you've shared. Who would ever think it would lead to such a bad outcome for the young women.