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  1. #16
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    Official press release in English (prepared by Josh F, Denise's friend):

    Tuesday, May 12, 2015. Astorga, Leon, Spain.

    The family and friends of the missing American, Denise Pikka Thiem, continue their search for the peregrina from Phoenix, Arizona, United States. Thiem, age 41, disappeared mysteriously at around 12:00 on Easter Sunday, April 5. She was last seen at that time in the town of Astorga, near the church of Santa Marta, preparing to leave on the next stage of el Camino de Santiago. The Chinese-American woman was continuing a journey that had already carried her nearly 20,000 kilometers across 3 continents in a search for adventure, discovery, and human connection.

    In a twist of fate, the young woman went missing just as she was preparing to return home, according to her brother, Cedric Thiem. Also from Phoenix, Arizona, Cedric recently left Spain - after nearly a month of tirelessly searching for his sister and trying to raise awareness of her situation - in order to be able to support their parents as they go through this difficult time.

    The National Police and Civil Guard continue to work tirelessly to find Denise. Cedric has expressed his deep faith in and great respect for the local and national authorities as they go through the difficult process of unraveling the enigma of his sister’s disappearance.

    BBM


    https://www.caminodesantiago.me/comm...p.32874/page-4


    Picture of one tower of the cathedral of Santa María of Astorga, the church of Santa Marta is on the right:

    Astorga-050_r50_q50.jpg

    Church of Santa Marta is the small building in front of the Cathedral:

    Cathedral-and-Iglesia-de-Santa-Marta-Astorga-Spain-Camino-de-Santiago.jpg


    From the albergue San Javier where Denise spent the night, the small street leads straigt to the front of the Cathedral and the church of Santa Marta.

    2011-camino-spain-leon-to-camino-duro-175_sanjavieralberguesign.jpg
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor

  2. #17
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    The family of Denise Thiem calls upon their friends to contact their congressmen and senators to let them know that they are concerned and that they want them to act now.

    The template letter states the following:
    https://www.facebook.com/helpdenisen...38221106494568


    I am writing to you about an Arizona resident who has gone missing overseas in Astorga, Leon, Spain. Denise Thiem was hiking a trail called el Camino de Santiago and was last seen on Sunday, April 5th around noon. Based on what we know, Denise was either kidnapped by an individual or for the purposes of Human Trafficking.

    The citizens that support The El Camino Trail and local authorities are doing all they can to help find Denise, but I believe that since Denise is a U.S. citizen that we should also support the cause in finding her and bringing her home to her family.



    BBM


    I'm not sure what to make of this. It is certainly one of several options that Denise met with foul play, but since no traces were left or found, how can anyone know this with a reasonable degree of certainty?
    IMHO the idea that she was not only kidnapped but kidnapped for the purpose of human trafficking is even more farfetched. Denise hardly fits the profile, she wasn't a tramp that no one would miss, and why would traffickers prey on pilgrims on the Camino that is under constant police surveillance?
    I assume that this was written to get the congressmen and senators involved ..... however, I am not sure if this is a wise stamentent about the Camino. If indeed there is knowledge, or even suspicion based on clear indications, that pilgrims run the risk of becoming a victim of human trafficking then this alert should go out to everyone.


    Last edited by ZaZara; 05-16-2015 at 03:03 PM.
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor

  3. #18
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    INVESTIGATORS INCLINED TOWARDS SEXUAL MOTIVE IN DISAPPEARANCE OF DENISE THIEM

    ElBierzoDigital
    http://www.elbierzodigital.com/los-i...se-thiem/89180


    A woman from of Santa Catalina de Somoza was the victim of an assault yesterday on a stretch of road passing through the vicinity of this village near Astorga. This woman had gone out for jogging and near a rest area for pilgrims, she was approached by a man, while another man was waiting in a car. She fled after the man tried to retain her by grabbing her by the arm, causing bruises. Security forces are investigating whether it was an attempted abduction, sexual assault or robbery.

    This fact, together with reports of several pilgrims, who had declared to have been harassed by unidentified men in this area, provides further strength to the main hypothesis that the investigators are inclined to in the case of Denise Thiem, the American woman missing on the Camino de Santiago near Astorga since April 5, and of whom there has been no news since: the sexual motive, as confirmed by unofficial sources near the investigation.

    After the Camino has been combed up to el Acebo en el Bierzo, over and over again without any trace of Denise, the hypothesis of an accident has practically been ruled out. In any case, Civil Protection Astorga Las Encinas continues with the searches - for which they have also requested bikes, not only to cover more ground but also for security.

    Neither came any clue from the exhaustive interrogation of the Italian pilgrim, the last man with whom the pilgrim was seen. Apart from the fact that the Italian police has made clear that the man does not have any kind of relationship with the facts, his interrogations have failed to provide any clue that can help find the woman.

    Voluntary disappearance, another hypothesis, was always very weak, mainly due to the statements of the family and the people who were in Denise's company during their pilgrimage.

    Meanwhile, after yesterday's happenings, neighbors are "very alarmed and concerned," as a group of them told this newspaper. "We begin to feel real fear; this is not normal," a woman of Santa Catalina says.


    BBM


    This does not look good at all.....

    Whisked away in a car, they may have taken her anywhere.
    Yet I have a feeling that these guys are locals, even if it is only for the time being. But it surprises me that they would go on doing this while everyone is alerted by Denise's disappearance.

    Denise Thiem, where are you???

    I do hope this woman was able to give a good description of the men and the car.


    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor

  4. #19
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    TWO MEN TRIED TO GRAB A WOMAN NEAR A TRACK OF THE CAMINO

    Happened in the same area where a female north-american pilgrim disappeared a month and a half ago


    Diario de León
    http://www.diariodeleon.es/noticias/...no_979812.html

    All alarms rang once again on Saturday afternoon when two men tried to kidnap a woman walking through an area near the Camino de Santiago as it passes through Santa Catalina de Somoza, in the municipality of Astorga. Local residents explained to this newspaper that it is not the first time that similar events happen in the area, declaring themselves on certain occasions unsafe in this area. In fact, this is the same section in which supposedly more than month and a half ago all traces were lost of Denise Thiem, an American pilgrim of whom no news has been received since April 5, when she sent an email to an friend and greeted 'from Astorga' and also telling the friend that she intended to continue to El Ganso. To do so, there is no alternative but to follow the Camino de Santiago, where you have to pass through Santa Catalina if the usual route is followed.

    In connection with the investigations to find the whereabouts of this pilgrim, of whom still absolutely nothing is known, it emerged that one of the lines that the security forces have been following was to analyze the testimony of other women who reported having been "harassed" and "disturbed "in this same area.

    Nothin seems to be accidental, although at the moment they are trying to find out whether or not a link exists between these cases. In the last case, that happened on Saturday at about five in the afternoon, the victim is not a pilgrim but a local from the village who had gone for a walk and do exercise as usual. It was then, while she was walking near an area of the Camino de Santiago, near the rest area for pilgrims, when C.A.F. saw two men who were sitting in a small car of a dark color. The men beckoned her "as if they had a question and would like to ask me something," the victim tells. She choose not to approach the individuals too near. That's when she saw how one of them got out of the car while the other kept his face partially covered. She remained at all times at a safe distance that allowed her to run away as soon as she noticed something strange in the intentions of the two men. However, when she started to flee, the man who was out of the vehicle and closer to the victim managed to take her arm, causing bruises. Still, the local woman from Santa Catalina managed to escape and ran on until she was able to hide in nearby bushes. She lost sight of the two individuals, but she was aware that one of them tried to follow her. The other man did not get out of the car.

    It was only after she managed to escape and hide that she was able raise alarm, calling and asking for help. According to sources from the neighborhood, police officers and Civil Guard drove to the spot in order to collect evidence and try to find the two men.

    Now, in addition, they are trying to clarify whether these events have any connection with the previous events or with the case of the missing pilgrim. Although this stretch of the Camino has been scoured exhaustively, clues about her whereabouts have not been found.



    BBM
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor

  5. #20
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    KIDNAPPING ATTEMPT ON THE STRETCH OF ROAD WHERE THE AMERICAN PILGRIM THIEM DISAPPEARED

    A woman reported to the Guardia Civil that she managed to escape and hide in some bushes, where she was able to call the police

    El Correo Gallego .es
    http://www.elcorreogallego.es/santia...edium=facebook

    The Guardia Civil is looking for two men for an alleged attempted abduction following a complaint from a woman of about 50 years, who said that last Saturday they tried to force her into a vehicle in Santa Catalina de Somoza, in the municipality of Astorga (León), through which the Camino de Santiago passes.

    According to the complaint, the two individuals aboard a "black, untidy and old" vehicle, tried to make her enter the car by force, grabbing her by the arm when she was in this area doing exercise, close to a stretch of the Camino de Santiago, the Prefectures of León reported to press agency EFE.

    The woman managed to escape and hid in some bushes, where she was able to call the police.

    The area in which this event occurred is close to the place where Denise Thiem, an American pilgrim with Asian features, was last seen. She disappeared last April 5 and if she followed the usual track of the Camino de Santiago she would have continued her journey through this very spot.

    The same sources, however, indicated that both investigations are being developed separately with, for now, no hint of a connection.


    BBM


    Hmmm .... small, old and dirty car. That would reek more of robbery, or at least also of robbery.
    Last edited by ZaZara; 05-18-2015 at 06:57 PM.
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor

  6. #21
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    http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/2464...mbres-astorga/


    Video (in Spanish) with the woman who escaped the attack on Saturday.
    Her name is Covadonga. She was running near the village when a car halted next to her.

    She tells that she could not see the face of one perp because it was hidden under a hoodie.

    She describes the two men as young and they spoke with an accent from Eastern Europe.



    BBM

    Oh for all those benefits of the Schengen zone and the European Union ...... thieves and other criminals included.



    I'll add drugs, alcohol or forbidden substances in general to the list.
    This woman Covadonga seems tall, and sportly. Denise is small and carried a backpack.
    If the cases are related, these perps are picking their victims very randomly.
    Last edited by ZaZara; 05-18-2015 at 07:02 PM.
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor

  7. #22
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    INVESTIGATORS SEPARATE THE CASE OF THE MISSING PILGRIM AND THE ATTEMPTED KIDNAPPING


    Diario de León.es
    http://www.diariodeleon.es/noticias/...ro_980086.html


    After two men tried on Saturday to abduct a local woman from Santa Catalina de Somoza who was jogging in an area near the Camino de Santiago, the National Police and Guardia Civil have put into motion the efforts to clarify what happened and to find the two men. At the moment, and according to sources near the Subdelegación del Gobierno yesterday, the investigation is ongoing and "a priori" the incident of Saturday 'is unrelated to the disappearance of the American pilgrim, Denise Thiem" according to the explanation from same sources, who stated that "there is no reasonable indication to link the two cases", mainly because, according to official sources, "the profile of the victims is different."

    The Subdelegación also clarifies that what happened on Saturday in Santa Catalina de Somoza "is a kidnapping attempt, ruling out rape because no attempt of a sexual assault occurred." The truth is that there is concern in the area that has grown following the recent events, because it is not the first time that "some uncertainty in this area occurs" as reported by some neighbors.

    Official sources argued in the follow up of what happened that the National Police and Guardia Civil are working together to clarify the facts, stating that "all lines of investigation are open and no hypothesis is discarded." In this regard, they said that "for the time the level of vigilance will not be raised in this part of the Camino, where supposedly have been recorded more cases of harassment, precisely to avoid interfering in the investigation."

    However, as reported by the victim herself, CAF, two men tried to attack her, who made gestures, "to ask me a question or consult about some matter." But she preferred to maintain a distance and not to get too near. Although one of the individuals managed to grab her by the arm, this distance allowed to escape, run off and hide in some bushes in the area.

    Caution

    For her part, the Mayor of Astorga, Victorina Alonso municipality for the parish of Santa Catalina de Somoza yesterday called for "caution" and recommended "not to go alone through the remote areas." Still the councilor also launched a reassuring message, "one must not cause alarm"

    BBM


    The woman ran off and managed to escape! There is no way knowing what would have happened if she had not been so fortunate. I wonder how they can discard rape? Maybe only in the legal sense, if it wasn't there, it wasn't there, but as long as these guys are not caught, no one can be certain about their plans and intentions and all that they may have done already.

    Profile so far, from various sources:

    two young men
    one hides his head under a hoodie
    the other who went after the woman was wearing military trousers and boots
    speaking with an accent from Eastern Europe
    old car, small, dark color, dirty

    they must be familiar with the area for some reason (work, crime, begging)
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor

  8. #23
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    WAS DENISE THIEM ABDUCTED ?


    La Voz de Galicia
    http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/noticia...5G20P12991.htm

    The investigation into the disappearance of American pilgrim Thiem Denise, aged 41 and with oriental features, continues without a breakthrough for weeks now. 46 Days ago this woman vanished without trace while hiking the Camino de Santiago. Everything suggests that on April 5 she left at noon from Astorga (León) towards the town of El Ganso, less than 15 kilometers from the maragata capital. The National Police and Guardia Civil have searched every day with dogs, helicopters and dozens of policemen supported by volunteers who have combed every centimeter of this stretch of the Camino. What happened to Denise? The investigation has not ruled out any possibility. Maybe she had an accident or maybe she met with a violent ending. Nor an abduction is discarded, an option that has gained strength after a local woman from the area declared last weekend that two men tried to kidnap her.

    Officially, the disappearance of Denise Thiem and the recent attempted abduction of a local woman are not related. That is what the Prefectures in Leon mantain, who see no reasonable grounds to link the two cases because the profile of the victims is different.

    In the region of Maragatería, however, many people do see the relationship between the strange disappearance of the pilgrim and the attempted abduction. The incident occurred in Santa Catalina de Somoza, one hamlet near Astorga just halfway between the town and El Ganso, the village where Denise Thiem planned to spend the night as she told a friend in an email. The pilgrim was last seen alive in Astorga. She was in the company of an Italian traveler who was unable to provide much information to the investigation. According to him, Thiem intended to go to mass and then leave, around 12 hours [mid day], for El Ganso. If she stuck to her plans, she would have had to pass through Santa Catalina de Somoza or at least hike this stretch of the Camino.

    Other incidents of harassment

    The indications that the US pilgrim might have suffered some kind of attack are also supported by other alleged cases of pilgrims who were supposedly harassed and even pilgrims robbed in this area of the Camino. No official complaints were made, but there are testimonials in social networks and among the locals.

    The story of CAF, the woman from Santa Catalina de Somoza whom they tried to kidnap last Saturday, is frightening. As she reported to Diario de León, that day she went for a walk and to jog like so many other days. In an area near the Camino and a rest area for pilgrims area she came upon a small dark car in which there were two men. "He made a gesture as if they had a question and would like to ask me something," she told. Something roused her suspicion and she was careful not to get too near. Suddenly, one of the men got out and when the frightened woman tried to flee, he grabbed her so tightly by an arm that this left her with bruises.

    That did not end the scare. C.A.F. ran away and hid in some bushes. While one of the two men went looking for her, the other remained in the car. She managed to slip away and when she was certain that she was no longer in danger, she was able to call for help. The National Police and Guardia Civil rushed to the scene to secure evidence. They also searched for the two alleged kidnappers. They found nothing, but they are still working together on the case, as in the disappearance of Denise Thiem.

    The desperation of the family

    The brother of American pilgrim, Cedric Thiem, traveled from USA to Spain when he stopped receiving messages from Denise. He spent about two weeks in Astorga searching, putting up posters with the image of the missing woman and accompanying police and volunteers in the search raids they made for days. Gradually, despair was taking its toll on him and a week ago he returned home, as he explained, in order to be with their parents and care for them in these difficult times.

    However, the search continues. US family and friends of Denise Thiem remain very active and have started an intense campaign to make the case of the pilgrim reach the House and Senate in their country. Meanwhile, in the social networks, pilgrims from around the world collaborate exchanging information and photos that may clarify what might have happened to this woman of whom so far there is not a single trace.


    BBM
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor

  9. #24
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    DEATH AND VIOLENCE DURING PILGRIMAGES TO SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
    MISSING ON THE JACOBEAN WAY


    DOM Radio.de
    http://www.domradio.de/themen/sozial...-de-compostela


    They were on their way then. Cases of death and violence on the Camino de Santiago are known since the Middle Ages. During those days highwaymen lay in wait for pilgrims; in the present, there now is a new, troubling dimension.

    The pilgrim community of the Camino de Santiago is worried. Since early April, the North American pilgrim Denise Thiem has been missing. The last sign of life of the 41-year-old comes from Astorga. The city in northwestern Spain is a transit station for Jacobean pilgrims in one of the most beautiful and secluded mountain landscapes of the pilgrimage route, the Montes de Leon with the legendary "Iron Cross", the Cruz de Ferro.

    Pilgrim Thiem never arrived on the roof of the Camino.

    Situated at over 1,500 meters the cross marks the roof of the pilgrimage; it is the highest point on the main route between the Pyrenees and Santiago de Compostela. Denise Thiem never arrived that high, but had planned before - like all pilgrims - to take the path there. This was also apparent from her last mail to friends in the US.

    More kidnapping attempts on the Camino

    Before you reach the ascending trails into the mountains, the Camino de Santiago leads through a lonely area with bushes and heath and the village of Santa Catalina de Somoza. It is there that last weekend a local walker barely escaped a kidnapping. The woman noticed, according to the police, near a resting place for pilgrims a small dark car. Inside there were thus two men who tried to flag herdown, as if they wanted to ask her something.


    [...]

    What happened to Denise Thiem provides police so far with a mystery. Despite intensive search activities with the help of police units, sniffer dogs, helicopters and teams of volunteers no trace has been found so far. This has parallels with the case of Manfred Reyle. The then 73-year-old priest from Tübingen disappeared in August 2011 on the way up to the border pass of Somport, the second most important Pyrenean transit for pilgrims.

    Also then, an extensive search was held, which ended without any result. In the mountain area around the Cruz de Ferro, the police has now strengthened its presence.

    Whether Reyle and Thiem fell victim to violent crime, has not yet been proven, but it is probable. In the case of the American pilgrim with her oriental appearance a sexual assault may have occurred, it is suspected. The hopes of finding her alive are - despite the "Help us find Denise" Facebook page - rather low.

    Pilgrims should not walk alone

    Does an heightened risk exist for single walkers on the Camino now? After all, the route passes in many instances through remote, sparsely populated areas. Francisco Esteban Palomo, a Spanish Camino expert who is a member of the Association of Tourist Guides of Santiago and who has accompanied for 25 years groups of pilgrims, does not know of other cases. Nevertheless, the 62-year-old finds the recent events "extremely worrying". He appeals to all the pilgrims to always carry a phone with them and "never go alone".


    BBM


    Denise did not carry a phone.

    Meanwhile, Covadonga Ayora, the woman who was almost kidnapped on Saturday, has joined the search for Denise.
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor

  10. #25
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    KIDNAP ATTEMPT, FEAR BUT NO TRACE OF DENISE, THE MISSING PILGRIM


    ElMundo.es
    http://www.elmundo.es/espana/2015/05...5388b4595.html


    She felt a tug on her arm that left her with bruises of the finger marks, but she managed to escape the grip and ran until she found a hiding place. The man tried to follow her, but either she sidetracked him or he did not want to risk too much. Now what is left, is fear in her body and the awareness that she has saved herself from a kidnapping attempt. Covadonga, a resident of Santa Catalina, a town nine kilometers from Astorga, has related on camera how they tried to drag her into a car on that stretch of the Camino de Santiago, the area where last April 5 the American pilgrim, Denise Pikka Thiem, disappeared.

    Covadonga had gone jogging in the area over the weekend when a car stopped next to her. She thought they were going to ask her for directions and came over. There were two men, "the driver, I did not see him well because he was hooded," but the other man got out and "grabbed my arm." She escaped and managed to call her partner, who came to fetch her from the hiding place that she had found among the brambles. "Whoever had grabbed me was wearing military trousers and boots and had a foreign accent." She has filed a complaint with the police, who are investigating.

    Denise Thiem

    For now, the event "is unconnected to with the disappearance of the American pilgrim," according to the Prefectures in Leon, who are investigating the most recent case. Neither do they link Denise's case with the statement of several woman pilgrims denouncing 'harassment' in the area. But Denise's friends are concerned about this latest development. According to El Mundo, J., one of the pilgrims who walked part of the Camino with the now missing Denise, says "We always thought that something like this is what might have happened. That a car stopped and someone took her away without leaving a trace. The disadvantage of Denise was also that she was walking tired and she was carrying a backpack, so she could not react fast. "

    The town of Santa Catalina, where the attempted abduction has occurred, lies between Astorga and El Ganso, precisely the track of the Camino to Santiago that Denise planned to hike before disappearing without trace.

    The neighbors are baffled and afraid. The Mayor of Astorga, Victorina Alonso, municipality to which the parish of Santa Catalina belongs, has recommended "not to go alone through the most remote areas," according to the Diario de León. But also she wants to calm down the situation and said that "one should panic."

    From his home in Texas (USA), Denise's brother, Cedric Thiem, speaks with El Mundo after learning of this attempted kidnapping in the area. "The only thing that worries me is if they will find my sister in a good condition. I have no further news and just hope that when the news arrives, they will say that my sister is safe," he says. He admits that "all I know is that the police are working on the case."

    About the incident in the area he says he sorry to hear it. "Not because it reminds me that my sister might have suffered something similar, but because someone has been at the point of being hurt. Luckily this woman managed to escape and her family does not have to go through the suffering we are going through," he says .

    He does not stop thinking about Denise even for one minute. About what could have happened. And although he tries try to keep a cool head, imagination flies. "Every day I wake up I think it's one more day that my sister is missing. I think all the time about what could have happened to her, anything is possible, and kidnapping is among those possibilities."

    Cedric says his sister "is a very hardworking person, with a successful career as a business woman and very dedicated to her friends. She was a point in het life where she wanted to explore her artistic side and experiment with painting watercolors while traveling. She started on the Camino, in part, to find herself ". In fact, she sent him some of the drawings that she made during her trip.

    He also indicates that Denise - missing since more than a month and a half ago, "was not afraid to travel alone, but was always very careful." "She told me in her e-mails that Spain was very nice and that the pilgrims took care of one another. Also that the locals were very friendly and how she would like that one day we would hike the Camino together," he recalls.

    The family is mobilizing US authorities to become involved in the search for Denise. And they want to thank the people of Astorga for the support they have given.
    Cedric asks: "If anyone has seen my sister, please go to the police."


    BBM


    Drawing by Denise Thiem, made during her trip.

    14321375229759.jpg
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor


  11. #26
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    TODAY'S SEARCH FOR TRACES OF DENISE ENDS WITHOUT RESULTS


    a posting on the FB-page Help Us Find Denise:
    https://www.facebook.com/helpdenisenow?fref=nf

    This Saturday we, a group of volunteers accompanied by Richard, friend of Denisse, have been tracing an area from Murias de Rechivaldo to El Ganso. Unfortunately we have not found any clue, we will continue our searches.



    BBM
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor

  12. #27
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    The Guardian, today
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...ker-disappears

    Warning to Camino de Santiago pilgrims after female walker disappears

    Pilgrims are being warned to avoid walking alone along a 15-mile stretch of Spain’s Camino de Santiago after police launched an investigation into an attempted abduction in the same area where an American pilgrim went missing in early April.



    BBM


    More at link.

    The funny thing, or maybe the not-so-funny thing, in this article is a reference is made to one of the forums about the Camino de Santiago.

    With local media drawing parallels between the attempted abduction and Thiem’s disappearance, one of the pilgrimage’s largest English-speaking forums advised pilgrims not to walk alone on the section of the route, which stretches from Astorga to Rabanal del Camino. “It seemed like it got to a point where there were so many things, and when you put them together it sounded like we should tell people about this,” said site administrator Ivar Rekve.

    ...

    In his 10 years of running the forum, Rekve said it was the first time he had ever sent out such a warning, in which he highlighted the credible reports about improper behaviour towards women along the route. “The Camino has been a very safe place, and it still is, but it only takes a few to make the situation more uncertain,” he added.
    So far, so good. What The Guardian does not tell is that the thread containing this warning has been closed and removed from the homepage, after complaints of pilgrims that discussions about self defense and pepperspray do not square with the values of the Camino, a Holy Path where pilgrims are protected by St James.


    While we do not know what happened to Denise and therefore cannot say if pepperspray would have played a role in preventing this, IMHO counting on protection by a higher spiritual power is perhaps not the wisest choice as long as there are people around with different ideas, especially if these persons are driving a car and can appear from and be gone to heaven knows where in a matter of minutes.


    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor

  13. #28
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    VOLUNTEER PARTROLS SEARCH FOR THE MISSING PILGRIM DENISE THIEM

    http://www.abc.es/local-galicia/2015...505251235.html

    Family members of Denise Thiem, the woman who disappeared on April 4 while on her way on to Astorga, have been organizing for days "local patrols to search for Denise at all etapas of the Camino where we possibly can." Thus, a group of volunteers mobilized through social networks combed on Saturday the trail where the pilgrim was seen for the last time.
    Relatives of the US woman request volunteers to detail if they have advanced knowledge of the Camino de Santiago, the neighboring areas or have experience in search and rescue. A coordinator is responsible for the formation of the groups. The citizen search parties looking for Denise are underway from Friday to Sunday.

    The missing woman has black hair and black eyes, Asian features, measures 1.62, it is thin and weighs about 54 kilos. She departed from Pamplona after a long journey that began in her home in Phoenix (Arizona) and that took her to Manila, Cambodia and Singapore, then to Paris and from there to the the Camino to Santiago.


    BBM

    Next search party will be on Saturday. No tangible results have been reported so far.


    Several newspapers reprinted (part of) the publication of The Guardian of this week:

    Warning to Camino de Santiago pilgrims after female walker disappears

    Pilgrims are being warned to avoid walking alone along a 15-mile stretch of Spain’s Camino de Santiago after police launched an investigation into an attempted abduction in the same area where an American pilgrim went missing in early April.
    Their focus was on the warning to Pilgrims on the Camino, and Denise's case was almost mentioned as a footnote. Very frustrating to read that! It is good and proper that people are warned of course, but Denise must not be pushed into a foggy background as whatever something that unfortunately happened to someone a while ago

    Help find Denise!




    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    4,081
    WALL STREET JOURNAL:


    http://www.wsj.com/articles/photos-o...-29-1432931103



    wsjpilgrimsastorga.jpg





    Pilgrims walk on the Way of St. James, or Camino de Santiago, in Spain on Friday near Astorga, Spain. American pilgrim Denise Thiem went missing on April 5 in this area as she was making the pilgrimage.


    BBM
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    4,081
    TWO MONTHS AFTER THE DISAPPEARANCE OF PILGRIM DENISE THIEM THE INVESTIGATION IS AT A STANDSTILL


    ABC.es Galicia
    http://www.abc.es/local-galicia/2015...ce=twitterfeed


    In December last year, Denise Thiem decided to strap on her backpack and spend her savings to travel the world. She wanted to visit some Asian countries such as Cambodia and Singapore and then make the jump to Europe, taking advantage of the fact that she had lost her job and had few months to think life over and travel. Among her plans was the Camino de Santiago, a life experience that would put an end to her four months of travel before returning home. In the mail she send to her friend, Denise wrote that she only needed to complete a few etapas in order to reach the Plaza de Obradoiro and that after that she would depart for the United States to be reunited with her pets. It was her last message.

    Very regular and organized this peregrina, aged 40, pulled 50 euros from a cash machine every Monday to spend during the week and got in touch with family and friends frequently through mail or Skype. All alarms went off when Denise both stopped calling her family and withdrawing money. In the accounts of the pilgrim there has been no more activity from April 4 on and no one has seen her. Her family, alarmed by her disappearance, traveled to Spain and reported the case. All means were set into motion to locate the young woman who was traveling without a mobile phone, but no attempt has paid off so far.

    On the brink of two months after the strange disappearance of Denise Thiem, all the unknowns continue without any clarification. It is known that the pilgrim spent the night in a hostel Astorga and that among her plans was to travel to the village of El Ganso. The last person who saw her was an Italian hiker who had a coffee with her near the Cathedral of Astorga, the same day. From there on, the steps of Denise vanish into thin air. Since then, trackings and raids in the area have been steadily ongoing in recent weeks, both by the National Police and Guardia Civíl. Also, every weekend civilian searches are organized with volunteers who contact Denise's brother through his Facebook page. But the officials acknowledge that not all hypotheses are still open and there are no leads that they can follow.

    An accident seemed, at first, the most plausible cause of the disappearance of Denise, but the lack of evidence and traces confuses the investigators. Two weeks ago, the case changed drastically when complaints of "harassment" became known that several female pilgrims had made close to the etapa where Denise disappeared. However, officials were quick to separate these from the disappearance of Denise. Two months later, and with all lines of investigation open, posters with "missing" abound at the albergues in an effort to shed light on the disappearance of Denise.


    BBM
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor

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