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Disappearance in the jungle and creepy photos: one of the most mysterious stories of the death of tourists

'09.08.2020'

Source: Lenta.ru

What could have happened in the spring of 2014 on the El Pianista route, why other people's fingerprints remained on the personal belongings of the disappeared and why their phones lived their own lives for about two more weeks, one of the most mysterious stories of the death of tourists tells Lenta.ru.

Photo: Shutterstock

Every day people disappear in the world without a trace. Some are found and returned home, but there are many more tragic stories. Each accident becomes a huge loss for loved ones, and sometimes for entire countries and continents. A few years ago, the world was shocked by the disappearance of two girls from the Netherlands, who went to Panama to study Spanish. Friends Lisanne Frone and Chris Kremers seemed to evaporate in the middle of the popular Latin American route, trodden by thousands of tourists. After some time, local residents found their things, and later - the remains of bodies without traces of violence. Numerous investigations conducted by law enforcement officers did not clarify the fate of the girls in any way, but only brought confusion.

Great expectations

Lisanne Frone and Chris Kremers were born in the Dutch city of Amersfoort. 22-year-old Lisanne was a year older than her friend. Friends and relatives remember both as smart, energetic and open-minded optimists. The trip to exotic Panama was a graduation boon for Fron, who received her degree in psychology from Deventer. Her parents gave her some money for vacation. Kremers was then still studying art at the University of Utrecht.

For several months, the girls worked together at the In den Kleinen Hap restaurant, saving their personal funds for a dream trip, during which they planned not only to relax, but also to learn Spanish and engage in social volunteering - to help local residents with children.

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In March, Frohn and Kremers flew out of Amsterdam airport for an adventure. The first destination was Bocas del Toro: there the girls studied the language, enjoyed the local cuisine and the Caribbean Sea, wrote great joyful messages about the local beauties to friends and family. Kremers has acquired an exotic Facebook avatar: kneeling in the water, she is holding a real starfish.

After a few weeks of rest, they headed towards the volcanic Mount Baru, a grandiose hill, in the vicinity of which the tourist town of Boquete is located, surrounded by the jungle. They planned to stay there for the rest of the vacation.

Screenshot: Jarow / YouTube

The Dutch women made it to Boquete successfully and settled in a house prepared for them in advance. Here their plans changed: initially the students planned to study the language and work with local schoolchildren, but the local administration told them that this was not possible yet.

The locals who met the girls that day recall that they looked upset and disappointed. However, there was still an opportunity to help poor families in the Alto Boquet area, and then Frone and Kremers decided not to change their plans and stay in Panama for another month.

According to some testimonies, they were asked to come back and negotiate all the conditions a few days later. The travelers, apparently, decided not to waste time and take advantage of the unexpected pause for new adventures. This decision marked the beginning of a convoluted and bizarre story in which no one’s testimony matches any evidence.

Short road

On the morning of April 2014, 80, the weather was fine in Boquete. Chris and Lisanne chose this day to walk along the famous local trail La Pianista, located about eight kilometers from the city. The girls put on T-shirts and shorts, took a light backpack, where they put the essentials (passports, a bottle of water and some money - about $ XNUMX), mobile phones and a camera. It is this technique that will then speak more eloquently than all police officers and detectives.

Before the start of the route, they took a taxi - according to the driver, around noon. However, according to the metadata of the photographs taken, in fact, they started climbing an hour earlier. At the same time, the police will have at their disposal the testimony of the owner of the cafe located at the beginning of the route, who communicated with two Dutch-like girls at about three o'clock in the afternoon, and they went for a walk after that. His staff also claimed that Frohn and Kremers took a guide dog, who returned alone. But it is impossible to prove this, since the dog did not get into any of the pictures.

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Usually tourists need five to six hours to walk along La Pianista - the trail is arranged as an ascent and descent from a hill, a one-way trip takes two and a half or three hours. Despite the fact that the route is considered well-known and dozens of people pass along it every day, even the locals do not risk leaving the trail: the surrounding area is dangerous due to the steep relief, especially during the rainy season (from April to October), at this time, even living since ancient times in these places the Ngobe tribe walks the trail with caution. The trail runs from Chiriquí state to Bocas del Toro province, crossing gorges over 20 meters deep, which must be crossed by cable bridges.

Fron and Kremers reached the summit at about one in the afternoon: at this time, the girls took a photo at the picturesque viewpoint of El Mirador at the top of the hill. Usually tourists finish their walk at this point and go back, however, most likely, the Dutch women wanted to continue the hike and look at the waterfall in the jungle, which is on the continuation of the route in an almost wilderness. A few days earlier, they had searched the net for a map of this landscape and studied it carefully.

Screenshot: Jarow / YouTube

However, the students were lightly dressed and took almost nothing with them: they had neither food, nor enough water, nor special means for rescue and survival. Usually, tourists take tents, special clothing and equipment for long hikes with them and turn to professional guides.

The travelers turned to the local guide Feliziano Gonzalez just for a trip to the local national park, which was planned for the next day. It was he who first realized that something had happened when the girls did not get in touch. He turned to the family from whom they rented an apartment, and then to the police. On April 3, Kremers and Frone were reported missing.

The search on an unprecedented scale continued for several weeks: at first, the girls were wanted by the police, dog handlers and local residents, soon they were joined by Dutch colleagues and relatives of the missing. It seemed that the travelers seemed to have evaporated, leaving no trace of their presence and any things. It is also extremely strange that two witnesses claimed to have seen the girls return from the La Pianista route and were looking for a way to get to the city. However, apart from these two, no one else reported the return of Fron and Kremers.

Unexpected finds

In June 2014, ten weeks after the mysterious disappearance of tourists, in a field near the settlement of Alta Romero, local residents found a backpack - the same one with which the Dutch women took a walk along the route. The journey from the place where they were last seen alive to this field would have taken several hours of walking. It also seemed strange that the backpack was in fact in perfect condition, all of its contents remained intact and not even wet (this completely ruled out the assumption that it was brought by the current along a mountain river). The backpack contained a passport in the name of Chris Kremers, a medical insurance card in the name of Lisanne Frone, $ 83, the girls' sunglasses, their bras and cell phones, a water bottle and a camera.

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At the same time, heavy rains fell on the country in May, from which a backpack left in the jungle could not but suffer. DNA of different people was found on it, but it turned out to be impossible to determine exactly whether they got there before the girls disappeared or after. More than a dozen different fingerprints were found on mobile phones and cameras. Some were repeated. Soon there was one more thing - the Kremers shorts, which lay neatly folded and zipped on the cliff between two fast mountain streams.

The main piece of evidence was a camera in the backpack, on which 133 consecutive pictures were found. There is only one photo missing in the series, and it is unclear who deleted it, since it was never restored (if you delete the photo manually, you can restore it).

Screenshot: Jarow / YouTube

Most of them are portraits of smiling girls, taken on April 18 while walking along the route, and the landscapes surrounding them. Only the picture taken at 40:XNUMX seems strange: in it, Kremers has a very worried face. Some of the pictures were taken in the “wild” part of the route, which confirms the hypothesis that after the ascent, the girls went down an uncomfortable descent. According to some reports, on the other side there are many huts and dugouts not marked on the map. Even experienced guides do not know who lives there.

The strangest were 90 photographs taken on April 8 between XNUMX am and XNUMX am, in complete darkness, when there was a heavy downpour in the area. According to the saved metadata, only a few seconds passed between some of the images. Some of the photographs were clearly taken intentionally, as they were not even blurred.

These frames:

A number of experts suggest that Frohn and Kremers tried to use the flash as a light source, but it is hardly possible to find out for sure. Most of the photos show ravines, gorges, rope bridges. One of the shots is a close-up of Kremers' head showing the blood on her temple.

Mobile phones were an even more important find, but careful research also yielded more mysteries than answers. According to the Kremers smartphone call log, she tried to contact the emergency services on the Dutch rescue number 112 as early as April 1, while walking around El Pianista. Fron tried to do the same a few minutes later. However, both calls did not go through, since there was no network coverage in the place where the girls were.

Later, mobiles were turned off and activated only the next day, after 14 hours. The girls tried to call the rescuers, but in vain. By April 77, Fron's phone stopped working (probably the battery was dead), the Kremers smartphone worked for several more days. It is known that on the same day someone tried to access it, but entered the PIN incorrectly. According to the investigation, from April XNUMX to April XNUMX, XNUMX attempts were made to enter the PIN-code, but all of them were unsuccessful.

Final stage

In June, local residents found not only the shorts of one of the Dutch women (a 14-hour walk from the field where they found the backpack), but also shoes (two different boots). On June 19, the remains of Lisanne Fron were found - a left leg with numerous fractures of the metatarsal bones, shod in a shoe. According to the forensic medical examination, there were no traces of violence on the remains - no cuts, no traces of weapons, no prints of teeth or claws.

At least 33 scattered body fragments were later found on the bank of the river - not far from the cable bridge, which, presumably, was captured in night photographs taken by the girls. Many of the remains were located several kilometers apart, all along the river. Pieces of the pelvic bone were also found, and a DNA test confirmed that it was the remains of Chris Kremers.

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Some of the remains were discovered at the end of August. According to the conclusion of the pathologists, the fragments were in an extremely atypical state: a piece of skin from Fron's shin was in the stage of decomposition, and the femur and tibia were in an absolutely perfect, in fact, living state. Experts admitted that it was no coincidence that someone could intentionally do something with the girl's remains. At the same time, the bones of Kremers were in a completely different state - completely discolored.

The death of two Dutch female students in Panama is still considered controversial. In the Netherlands, they tend to consider the incident as an accident, but local law enforcement officials do not rule out the violent death of girls

The forensic scientists were unable to come to a general conclusion. Now officials are inclined to argue that the girls are lost. Kremers was then injured by falling from a height, and Fronn looked after her until she too had an accident. A version was being worked out that the girls were attacked by a cougar, a snake or another wild animal.

Indeed, it is extremely difficult to survive in the dangerous conditions of the jungle, especially in the dark, especially since the uneven terrain does not contribute to a safe hike. However, the situation with the backpack found in perfect condition (and all valuable things) at such a distance from the place of the official death of the girls and the careless investigation of the circumstances of the case continue to raise questions from many people around the world. Some suspect that the girls may have been killed by drug dealers or traffickers.

In recent years, a sign has been installed at the highest point of El Pianista that does not allow tourists to cross the other side of the slope without a guide.

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