Times of India Article
SHIMLA: The family of an Australian national has launched yet another search for the lone trekker who went missing in the scenic Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh.
“We have begun searching for my son Daniel in the Manikaran area along with a 25-member Israeli team as well as a local team,” said his father, Robert Mountbatten.
“I have also announced a reward of Rs.400,000 ($8,700) for anyone who helps me find him,” the father was quoted as saying in local newspapers.
Daniel went missing Aug 2 last year from Chhalal village in the Kullu Valley, about 250 km from here. His friend lodged a complaint with the police when Daniel did not return to their village guesthouse.
Daniel’s sister carried out two massive search operations with help from the police, a helicopter company and trekkers but no clue was found of the missing Australian.
Some human bones were found during the search, but they were later reported to be of some other person by a Chandigarh-based forensic laboratory.
“This time if we do find bones we shall send them for forensic tests to Australia and Israel,” said Mountbatten.
Daniel’s mother is Israeli and he was insured in that country. Police say 16 foreigners have mysteriously disappeared in the Kullu Valley in the last two decades.
The valley is visited by hordes of foreign tourists, many lured by the easy availability of cannabis which grows in the wild in the mountainous region and is smuggled out by both locals and foreigners to several parts of the globe.