WHERE ON EARTH CAN AUGUST REIGER BE?
Father's Day, June 16, 2013, an American family of four vacationing in Ecuador takes a jungle hike together on the scenic but hilly trails overlooking the tourist town of Banos. Two brothers suddenly race up ahead ... but only one of them returns. What happened to the other? Was he kidnapped? Did he fall? Is he a runaway? Or was he murdered?
Fulbright scholar, class valedictorian and Oklahoma resident, August Reiger, 18, vanished in thin air on June 16th while exploring Ecuador's picturesque countryside with his mother, father and younger brother, Laithe.
At one point in the trek the two boys had dashed ahead of their parents, yet, minutes later, only the youngest son rendezvoused with them again.
"He was sitting there waiting," explains Mr. Reiger, "but he hadn't seen his brother."
The steep and winding path the Reiger family took, while secluded, is a popular tourist attraction in this region, and the small town where they were staying, dependably crime free.
In fact, although U.S. and Ecuadoran officials are jointly investigating August Reiger's strange disappearance as an abduction, and even offering a reward to his potential kidnappers, the reality is there's never been an abduction in this area.
Moreover, no ransom note has been delivered...
Adding to the mystery, some locals have since been claiming they might've spotted the youth riding in the back of a pickup truck, apparently headed for the Amazon rainforest.
But others think that's a bit farfetched. They're speculating that Reiger is probably at the bottom of a ravine somewhere, his body hidden from search parties by dense foliage.
What do you think? Is this brilliant young man still among the living? And, if so, where?
[Updated on 7/2/13 from July 1st to include photo of Laithe Reiger]