German police, rescue canines and drones are scouring the Bavarian Alps for a 32-year-old Manitoba man who went lacking throughout a hike 15 days in the past.
On July 30, Jeff Freiheit, a college trainer from Brandon, Man., set off for a month-long journey from Munich, Germany to Venice, Italy. His buddy, Chris Kennedy, stated he was making ready for the hike for months.
Kennedy referred to as Freiheit an avid hiker, having climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Machu Picchu and Everest’s base camp prior to now. The Der Traumpfad trek is a well-known European expedition and it’s described as one thing a mean hiker can accomplish.
“He was coaching for this earlier than he left, doing 30 kilometres a day hikes,” Kennedy stated. “He’s an incredible athlete, a college basketball participant. Nobody was frightened as a result of we knew he may do that.”
On Aug. 1, Freiheit spoke together with his spouse, Selena, on FaceTime, when he was in Unhealthy Tölz, a small German city which acts as a gateway to the Alps. The next day, he posted a video on Instagram giving an replace on his trek.
“Day three, it’s been an excellent morning to this point … simply to provide you an concept of what the following three hours entails, right here we go,” Freiheit stated. He then exhibits the ascent he was about to make on the Brauneck mountain, which he stated is 650 metres excessive and round 2.5 kilometres in size.
“Want me luck, it will likely be a number of enjoyable,” he added.
Hours later, and out of breath — and smiling — Freiheit movies himself on high of the mountain.
However after that, all communication with Freiheit got here to a cease and he has not been heard from since. He additionally didn’t arrive on the in a single day stops he booked forward of time.
“He had a strict itinerary, so it’s an enormous concern as a result of he had the entire month deliberate. There is no such thing as a rational motive why he would go off that plan,” Kenedy stated.
The search operation
Final week, Selena and Freiheit’s mom, Kathy, flew to Germany to assist with the search. Selena even launched a volunteer search celebration on Fb.
In accordance with Kennedy, teams of volunteers have been serving to search day by day.
“I feel it hits house to lots of people, as many individuals have finished this hike earlier than and it may occur to anybody,” he stated.
Since Freiheit’s disappearance, a large-scale police and mountain mission has been ongoing within the Alps. It consists of police, mountain search crews, helicopters, canines and drones — all trying to discover any hint of the Manitoban.
On Friday, rescuers have been looking part of the mountain that’s “very rugged, with ditches and parlty closely overgrown with dense mountain pines,” one of many search celebration members, Sylvia Frei instructed a neighborhood German media outlet, including that discovering an individual or a clue within the space is “extraordinarily tough.”
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“Though there’s nonetheless a scarcity of essential proof, this space holds the best threat potential of the day’s stage of the lacking particular person and may be thought of from the terrain almost certainly,” Freiheit stated.
Yesterday, Selena posted on Fb a few potential lead investigators are trying into.
“At this level within the seek for Jeff, we want to have the ability to slender down his potential location to a really particular spot. The ONLY manner we will do that’s via key witnesses with detailed accounts of the place they might have seen him final,” Selena wrote on Fb.
“We received a tip that two ladies helped an English man (who could or could not have been Jeff) on this grocery story in Jachenau. We want this message to search out it’s method to these two ladies who might need seen him on August third. “
Pals of Freiheit have organized a GoFundMe marketing campaign to assist the household with journey bills and the hiring of personal search events. As of Friday afternoon, it had raised greater than $35,000.
‘I simply need Jeff again’
Selena and Freiheit’s mom, Kathy, are at the moment within the German city the place he was final seen, making an attempt to speak to many individuals as potential and seek for clues about this disappearance.
She instructed a German media outlet that giving up hope isn’t an possibility, and she or he has to “keep robust.”
“I’m engaged on autopilot proper now. I simply need Jeff again,” she stated.
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