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  1. #31
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    Thanks for posting the update. Hope this lady is found.


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  2. #32
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    THE MYSTERY OF DENISE DOES NOT FIND AN ANSWER


    Leonnoticias.com
    http://leonoticias.com/frontend/leon...n176732-vst218



    "All we know is that we know nothing."
    Few expressions, however clear and emphatic, define an extreme situation. And this time the extreme situation reveals a most disturbing case: since more than two months nothing is known of the pilgrim Denise Pikka Thiem.

    Official sources from the investigation have said Wednesday that during all this time "they have made the greatest efforts" and have put and they are putting, they point out, all means into this case.

    Patrols on motorbike and quads, on foot and by helicopter, questioning residents of different villages including the most isolated, generic and selective scourings, searches through the Net. The range of work done in this case does not leave much room for expansion. "But the reality is that we know nothing," it is insisted.

    She is no friend of follies

    Denise Pikka Thiem, the pilgrim missing since last May when she hiked the Camino de Santiago, is a true enigma. This American woman defined by her brother as "prudent" and by no means friendly towards committing foolish acts was staying in the albergue of San Javier in the town of Astorga on the night of 4 to 5 April.

    Until then her day to day behaviour on the Camino seemed normal. Sometimes she walked alone, sometimes she joined to groups of pilgrims, she spoke with them and always, always, contacted her family and friends in Arizona.

    Nothing unusual happened until overnight young Denise stopped giving signs of life. Her traces on the Camino disappeared into thin air, her messages online came to an end. In her latest email she announced her intention to hike towards el Ganso, where she had been told there was a good albergue.

    But she never arrived. Alarm bells, and this is another crucial aspect for investigation, rang far too late. It was a friend of Denise who, by using facebook, sent messages to as many people as she could locate in Astorga because the last message came from there.

    "Tomorrow I will go to mass"

    "Hello from Astorga. I'm glad you have a good day although the weather has not been perfect. Tomorrow I will go to Mass at eleven oçlock before proceeding. I plan to go to Ganso (referring to the nearby town of El Ganso). I have been told they have a decent albergue. Glad that Louis is well. We are moving upwards. Enjoy, DT ". This was the content of her last mail.

    The request for help from Arizona caught on in seconds in the local community. One of the recipients of the mail sent by Denise's friend notified the security forces and informed the media of the situation, but between one thing and another more than ten days had passed. "A lot of time if you try to find a trace or to locate a trail that could lead to another", according to the investigators.

    Cedric Thiem brother of the missing woman does not give up. "I hope she's alive," he has repeated over and over again. The Guardia Civil does not shelve the case. Quite the opposite. The investigation and the sureveillance continue, and they hope for a 'mistake' by those who may be involved in this case. But for now the only reality is that there is no end to the mystery of Denise .


    BBM


    Ten days are a lot of days if you want to recover the tracks of someone.
    Well yes and no and maybe.
    When Denise's brother Cedric turned to the Camino fora, he was met with soothing replies she will turn up, she may be in area with no internet, are we sure she wants to be found? and the like.
    This week, a mother in Canada was unable to contact her daughter for a week. The daughter was walking the Camino, alone last contact was from Astorga.

    ............................... (fill in your thoughts)

    and then the daughter called her mother tonight. After 10 days. Apart from problems with her email, she had been caught up in the 'Camino bubble' and she had not been aware that her family might be upset about the lack of messages.

    IMHO it is almost inevitable that days will be lost.




    Denise Thiem, where are you?
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor

  3. #33
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    FAMILY OF DENISE THIEM TEAMS UP WITH FAMILY OF WOMAN FROM OURENSE WHO DISAPPEARED ONE MONTH LATER


    The family of pilgrim missing on the Camino and the family of a woman from Ourense whose tracks were lost a month ago while doing sports, unite to demand more resources to search for the missing women.


    http://www.abc.es/local-galicia/2015...gn=traffic-rss


    On April 4 the trail of pilgrim Denise Thiem was lost. At the time of her disappearance she was hiking an etapa of the Camino de Santiago near Astorga. A month later, on May 2, the family of Socorro Pérez reported that she had not returned home after leaving for a jog through the district of O Couto in Orense. The narrow margin of time that separates both disappearances and the geographical proximity between the two (just 170 kilometers) has brought together the spokespersons of the families affected by these losses with the aim to create a common front and demand more human and material resources in the searches launched by investigators.

    ABC has been told that since Wednesday the families of Denise and Socorro maintain contact by telephone to team up and achieve that the efforts be doubled both in the work of tracking and in the investigations initiated. To start they request that the allocation of police officers working on the cases is increased and that the cases do not fall through the cracks. "We are very afraid that with the passage of time and the lack of evidence the search parties will be stopped," spokesmen in Spain for the family of the Amercian woman commented. In the same vein, the father of Socorro pleads for help to continue searching for his daughter, while he laments that "a long time has passed and there is not one clue yet."

    Although there is nothing to indicate that the one and the other disappearance may be connected, the cases of Socorro Perez and Denise Thiem do have obvious similarities. One is that the two women had immediate plans that were cut short abruptly. In the case of Denise, her friends revealed that the pilgrim had planned to hike to the village of El Ganso to attend a Mass and that from there she would face a new etapa of the Camino. Once in Santiago, Denise had decided to return to her native Arizona to reunite with her dogs, and she admitted that she missed them very much in several emails sent to her brother and a close female friend.

    Meanwhile, Socorro had planned to spend the Sunday after her disappearance in a resort located on the outskirts of Orense with her mother. It was precisely her delay when it was time to leave that alerted her parents, who reported her missing that same afternoon. The police was quick to describe this disappearance as 'disturbing', as the family spokesman told this newspaper.

    With all assumptions open, for the time being neither case has produced significant advances that help to find the whereabouts of the missing women. United by the pain that a disappearance causes, the families of Denise and Socorro request that investigations continue to take their course and not be closed for lack of evidence. "Every day that passes without news is like a heavy stone, especially for their parents," says the cousin of the woman from Orense, whom he defines as "a nothing of party girl, someone who enjoyed making great journeys."

    The parents and brother of Denise Thiem do not give up and stick to their conviction that the pilgrim did not leave of her own free will. To prevent her disappearance from falling into oblivion, every weekend civilians' raids are being organized to comb tracks of the Camino where she was seen for the last time. They have also launched several search campaigns through social networks in which there are thousands of people involved. Faced with the anguish of not knowing, some declare they will "keep searching until they are found."


    BBM


    May 2 was a Saturday. It is assumed that the traces of Socorro Pérez were lost around 3 o'clock in the afternoon when she went jogging.

    Covadonga Ayora, the woman from Santa Catalina de Somoza, escaped being kidnapped while she was jogging in the afternoon of May 16, Saturday.


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

  4. #34
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    Not good at all ZaZara! These women it seems we're out alone, in isolated areas when they disappeared/attacked!!! I pray their families get answers!


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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppygirl View Post
    Not good at all ZaZara! These women it seems we're out alone, in isolated areas when they disappeared/attacked!!! I pray their families get answers!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I agree! The families do not see a connection between the cases, but the similarities are all too obvious.

    What is more, today brings very sad news about Socorro Pérez:


    HUMAN REMAINS FOUND WHERE ONE MONTH AGO SOCORRO PÉREZ FROM OURENSE DISAPPEARED
    AWAITING OFFICIAL CONFIRMATION BUT EVERYTHING INDICATES THAT THE BODY IS HERS


    http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/noticia...0783899316.htm


    Three locals of Ourense found a body today in the area of Alto del Seminario, whose characteristics match those of Socorro Perez, 43, who disappeared last May 2 after jogging in the area of Reza. One of the men who found her confirmed that the body was in an advanced state of decomposition and wearing the same tracksuit that Socorro was wearing when she was seen for the last time. The body was covered by pine needles. The three neighbors, who were tracking around Reza (on the outskirts of the city of Ourense) observed some birds flying over a particular spot, they made themselves an opening through the brambles and found the body.

    (...)

    One of the hypothesis held by the investigators is that the woman died on the day of her disappearance, based on the advanced state of decomposition of the body, which does not allow for indentification of the victim for the time being. The family insists that the death is a violent one and rules out the possibility of a voluntary disappearance or suicide.
    Autopsy will be done tomorrow on the basis of DNA.


    BBM

    RIP Socorro Pérez
    Prayers for the family who have lost their only child

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

  6. #36
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    Con Paz esteas Socorro. Rest in peace. May Denise be found soon.


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  7. #37
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    THE BODY OF SOCORRO PEREZ WAS FOUND IN THE UNDERGROWTH WITH A STRONG BLOW TO THE HEAD

    La Región
    http://www.laregion.es/articulo/oure...441548095.html

    The location of the discovery of the corpse, a wooded area with a slope next to the television tower of the Seminario, 25 meters off the road and how the body appeared yesterday morning with hardly any clothes, covered from the waist down and with a blow to the head, leads the security forces to working with the premise that Socorro Perez Rodriguez (43 years) was the victim of a violent death when she left to jog in the afternoon of May 2.

    Although it should be the autopsy, scheduled for today, that confirms for one hundred percent the identity of the deceased, given the advanced state of decomposition of the body, the security forces are already working with the certainty that it is her. The clothes found on the spot - running pants with a vertical strip in red and a pale pink sweatshirt detached from the body - and the keys to the mailbox of her home mailbox in the street Álvarez de Soutomaior (O Couto) all point to the obvious.

    BBM

    This is alledgedly what happened to Socorro Pérez.
    She did not disappear voluntarily, she did not end her own life.
    I write this with rising anger.
    I read a lot about Denise's case, and there is not much news. Searches are done and nothing is found.
    Still there remain people who insist against all logic that she ran away and is hiding with one group or another. There are those who doubt that the local woman from Santa Catalina de Somoza was really the target of an attempted kidnapping. In fact, in Santa Catalina de Somoza nothing ever happens. The Camino de Santiago is safe, St James protects you and if we speak too much about safety concerns, women will get upset so you'd better stay home and not go anywhere, in fact one runs a bigger risk in New York than on the Camino.

    It is good to remain positive, but this has nothing to do with positve thinking. This is denial and this undercurrent of denial is strong.

    In contrast, fortunately, whatever the meaning of 'fortunate' in this sad context, this is what an expercienced caminante, former member of the catalán association of the Camino, writes on the FB of helpdenisenow:

    Lluís Bahí Rubau:
    A very ugly affair.
    (...) it is true that I know myself these roads, have kicked them during days and almost during entire nights, in all seasons, almost always alone. If our Denise went to Mass at eleven and then got on her way, at this time there are few pilgrims who start on the Camino, this is great opportunity and an easy prey for bastards. And I do not know how I can help, I always go with my eyes wide open just in case I happen to spot her but I tend to think that we shall not see her anymore.


    One can love the Camino and not close one's eyes to the obvious.
    It is in everyone's interest that both Denise and the men who tried to kidnap Covadonga on that track be found.
    The same applies of course to those responsible for the death of Socorro Pérez.
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor

  8. #38
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    "HOPE MOTIVATES US TO CONTINUE SEARCHING FOR DENISE THIEM"


    Diario de León.es
    http://www.diariodeleon.es/noticias/...em_984862.html


    Family, friends and unnamed persons do not lose hope and is precisely this stae of mind that encourages them to continue searching for Denise Thiem, the American pilgrim who disappeared in Astorga more than two months ago.

    Punctual at 10.30 am a group of volunteers with Richard, a college friend of Denise, at the head, arrive once again at a restaurant in the maragata capital. They have the intention to comb every inch of the area near Santa Catalina and its western part, with the purpose of finding any clue that they can give to the police, who are aware of all movements, and help to clarify the case.

    "I think positive," Richard said yesterday, shortly before he set out on the map the day's route. Next to him an American pilgrim, Lorena, who began the Camino when she heard of Denise's case. "Following the events I proposed a network so that we do not have to travel alone." She started the Camino unaccompanied but gradually her idea was thriving. However, a cold left her behind in Burgos, but now that she has started to feel better, she decided to join the search. "I think the case has affected us all," admitted the girl, who wasted no time to alert other walkers that is was better to walk with company.

    The case has also raised alarm bells in the international press, who echoed the event. It is true that what happened does not have repercussions in the number of pilgrims for this time of year, although there are several pilgrims, especially Americans, who are interested in what happened.

    Not only Richard and Lorena undertook a day of searches yesterday. Volunteers from Leon and the town itself also wanted to contribute their 'grain of sand'. So far they have found some clothes "but these have not been identified as Denise's," according to Richard. He added that "I really care about my friend, I have known her for over 20 years now, besides that someone close to her is here also reassures the family."

    To date all hypotheses remain open, but all who know Denise agree that "she is no friend of crazy actions." Also Richard confirmed this yesterday, ensuring also that Cedric, the brother of the disappeared pilgrim who traveled to Spain to report the case, "is standing strong". Richard has been for a fortnight in the maragata capital, and will remain there for seven more days in the hope of finding something that will help to discover the whereabouts of his friend.

    Past 10.30 hrs, the group starts on the road to give their best during the search. The official investigation is ongoing, but so far there are no results. Richard did not say goodbye without acknowledging "the hardship of the work of the police". "They're working hard," he said, pointing to the volunteers as well.


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

  9. #39
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    KOREA REQUESTS MORE PROTECTION FOR ITS PILGRIMS

    ABC.es Galicia
    http://www.abc.es/local-galicia/2015...506080938.html


    Centuries ago, the Camino de Santiago was a dangerous itinerary where in order to reach the final destiny it was necessary to overcome many difficulties, including those of the bandits who assaulted the pilgrims. Today the reality is the opposite and, in fact, the Camino is seen as a safe route, and a success that many countries strive to copy. However, the disappearance of the American hiker Denise Thiem in April raises concerns with some nationalities. The fear has been installed among the pilgrims especially those from South Korea, a country on the rise that is very much present in the winter months. This we learn from Diego Yoon, president of the Korean Association of Friends of the Camino, that is headquartered in Madrid and that aims to support them.

    Yoon participated in the conference held in Santiago, where he explained this situation not without causing a stir among those attending the talk of alleged sexual abuse on the Camino. This year alone he has recorded three cases, given that these pilgrims contacted the association for help. Asked about it on ABC, the leader of this group describes the cases of a young woman who found herself in full view of a naked man in the woods near Astorga, the same locality in Leon where Denise was last seen, Denise, who despite being American, has Asian features. The man had been approaching her, but she fled to the road where she was rescued by a driver.

    The second case is documented in Galicia, while the third was located in Asturias, on the Camino del Norte, but unlike the others it was not reported to the police. A German hospitalero - a volunteer in charge as a host in albergues - allegedly offered to massage the pilgrim, and then would have tried to violate her after winning her trust. She managed to leave the place and return to Madrid, where she was taken care of by Yoon. "By telling their stories on the Internet, other women become afraid and decide not to come," he says. From his organization where they are working on issues like should you have signs on the road with emergency numbers to call, comes the request to reflect on the need to increase security.

    Rafael Sanchez Bargiela, director of the Xacobeo, argues that "crime rates in the villages of the Camino in Galicia are below the average of the Community. Although he does not hide his "concern" about the case of Denise, he says that "problems are magnified that are in fact isolated."


    BBM






    Dear mr Sanchez Bargiela, in this day and age where everybody and their worst friend have a car, what is going to stop any perp from grabbing a lonely tiny Asian hiker off the Camino and be gone in seconds to heaven knows where?
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor

  10. #40
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    It is very concerning that no sign of her has been found, it does point to foul play and a good reason for women to walk in the vicinity of others - I hope she is found. But in terms of danger, many people have been killed by cars while walking the camino, since sometimes you have to walk along the road, that is an even bigger safety issue.


  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satchie View Post
    It is very concerning that no sign of her has been found, it does point to foul play and a good reason for women to walk in the vicinity of others - I hope she is found. But in terms of danger, many people have been killed by cars while walking the camino, since sometimes you have to walk along the road, that is an even bigger safety issue.
    I was astonished almost beyond words when I heard that on parts of the Camino one has to walk along motorways. What the .... were they thinking when they set out these tracks? In many countries, like my own this would be totally verboten , LE would pick you off the road and serve you with a fat fine and no exception for pilgrims.
    With so many pilgrims on the Camino, 100.00 each year, the number of traffic 'accidents' is bound to go up.

    I wonder how one can claim the the Camino is 'safe' and exclude road safety!

    The other cause of death on the Camino appears to be a heart attack (blog in English with data here http://amawalker.blogspot.nl/2012/08...on-camino.html ; the Federation of the Camino also keeps a list of sorts http://www.caminosantiago.org/cppere...inmemoriam.asp).

    IMHO if Denise had suffered some health issue on the trail between Astorga and el Ganso, she would have been found quickly. Even now that everything is overgrown, the dogs would have located her.
    http://www.diariodeleon.es/noticias/...ro_975183.html 30/04/2015
    ‘Roldán’ y ‘Hyk’ son los nombres de los perros que están rastreando la zona en busca de alguna pista sobre la peregrina desaparecida. Son capaces de localizar a cualquier ser humano que no esté de pie sobre el terreno.
    'Roldán' and 'Hyk' are the names of the dogs that are scouring the area looking for clues about the missing pilgrim. They are capable of locating any human being who is not standing upright on the ground.
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon's Razor

  12. #42
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    TWO MONTHS ON, NO SIGN OF US WOMAN MISSING ON SPANISH PILGRIMAGE ROUTE


    El Pais in English
    http://elpais.com/elpais/2015/06/09/...50_755878.html


    In Sarria, a small community in Lugo province about 150 kilometers from Astorga, and 100 kilometers from Santiago de Compostela, where the Camino ends, the Civil Guard says it is looking for a man known only as Miguel, who is believed to have attacked an American and a Dutch woman on the route. “He drove up, got out to talk to them, and told them his supposed name, then he assaulted one and tried to force her into his car,” says the Civil Guard source. “Both women fought him off with the sticks they were using for walking.”

    Local media in Astorga say a number of women have reported “harassment” while walking the Camino. Annie Carvalho, who writes about different pilgrimage routes in Spain online, warned women in a blog posted in May about straying from the route and traveling alone, referring to problems in the area where Thiem has gone missing. “There’s no need to become paranoid, it’s simply a question of being careful,” she warned. “I have always believed the Camino to be safe.”

    Fears for the safety of women traveling the Camino de Santiago have been further heightened after a woman from a small village close to Astorga told police that two men in a van “who spoke with Eastern European accents” tried to kidnap her while she was jogging.

    But for the moment, the police are not making any connection between the incident and Thiem’s disappearance. Some local people have dismissed the alleged kidnapping as an exaggeration. The head of the residents’ association in one village has complained about “media attention” in an area that he says has “always been peaceful,” adding that it was in Astorga where Thiem went missing. “Nothing ever happens around here. Three years ago there was talk about an Italian woman who disappeared. They were searching for her for six weeks, and eventually they found her living in a nearby commune. Who knows what has happened to this foreign woman. So many pass by here every day… what seems clear is that her body hasn’t been dumped anywhere, because they have been using helicopters, dogs, forest rangers, and groups of up to 150 volunteers to look for her.”


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

  13. #43
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    I've been to Spain several times and to Santiago, though I've never walked el camino. Though the city itself is big (and really old like many European cities), the surrounding countryside and villages are quite rural. It's not uncommon to have to stop so cows can cross the road. I don't know exactly where she disappeared but would imagine searchers have their work cut out for them in terms of searching. I really hope they find her...and I think they have to step up the security on on el camino. Thanks so much for the updates.


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  14. #44
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    People do a walking pilgrimage on the roads in Northern New Mexico annually, and often at least one person is killed a car.

    I think I read that Denise did not travel with a phone? If true, I do not understand this. I understand maybe wanting to be technology-free...but safety must be considered for anyone traveling alone, Imo. Perhaps a signal could have helped to locate her, at least.
    Just my opinion, of course.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by cluciano63 View Post
    People do a walking pilgrimage on the roads in Northern New Mexico annually, and often at least one person is killed a car.

    I think I read that Denise did not travel with a phone? If true, I do not understand this. I understand maybe wanting to be technology-free...but safety must be considered for anyone traveling alone, Imo. Perhaps a signal could have helped to locate her, at least.
    I second that, I won't even drive my car or go for a walk without my cell phone for safety reasons.

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