Body of Munich man found in Ecuador river


(JTA) — The body of a 21-year-old Jewish man from Munich was found by residents of a town along Ecuador’s Pastaza River.

Family spokesman Marc Schmerz announced the death of Jonathan Simon on Facebook Aug. 13, saying "Unfortunately we have to announce that Jonathan´s dead body was found tonight." Rescue and recovery teams had searched for several days.

Simon, whose family lived in Munich and in Israel, reportedly fell off a footbridge while crossing the river near Devil’s Cauldron waterfall on Aug. 6. The body is to be sent to Germany.

Israeli rescue specialists had joined in the search last week, flying in with Simon’s parents.

A massive plea for help in locating Simon had been launched Aug. 9 on the Internet. The website of the Jewish community of Munich posted the announcement as well.

Thousands of people had joined the Facebook group "Missing – Jonathan Simon – Missing," and by Sunday hundreds had responded to the news.

The website that the family set up to keep friends and family informed announced that the body of "Jonathan Noach Ben Ronit Simon" had been found.

"The purpose of human life is to serve, show compassion and the will to help others," the family’s statement read in part. "Jonny would be astonished to see how many people — family, friends and many strangers — have come together and put their personal matters aside for this cause. You have been in the minds of thousands the last week and you will never be forgotten."

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