Israeli backpacker missing in South America


RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A 23-year-old Israeli backpacker was declared missing in South America.

The family of Omri Lahad reported not having any contact with him for more than a month.

Lahad, who lives in Rosh Pina and is known as Kipi, separated from his group of friends in the town of Leticia, on the border between Colombia and Peru, according to reports.

Lahad last contacted his family in Israel on Oct. 27, when he planned to sail toward Iquitos. The next day he withdrew money from a local ATM before heading out on a ferry cruise in the Peruvian rainforest. Lahad officially was declared missing on Nov. 26.

A search team sent by the Israeli Foreign Ministry found no trace of Lahad. Investigations will continue in collaboration with embassies in Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Argentina. The Jewish community in Manaus, Brazil’s largest city in the Amazon region, also will help.

Lahad has been traveling since finishing his army service in June.

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