British backpacker vanishes in Nepal sparking fears trekkers are being targeted days after Belgian was found decapitated
By ROB COOPER (Daily Mail):
Zisimos Souflas, 27, vanished after setting off on a hike
Family reported him missing when he failed to return to England
Backpacker may have been murdered, police admit
Footpaths in the area are well-marked and the weather was good when he vanished
Mystery disappearance has come to light days after Belgian hiker Debbie Mavea, 23, was found decapitated
A British backpacker has vanished in Nepal sparking fears that trekkers are being attacked by locals.
Zisimos Souflas, 27, disappeared in a small town popular with hikers – in a case that came to light just days after a young American woman was found decapitated.
There are at least 12 other missing foreign tourist cases in Nepal.
The St Andrews University graduate was last seen at a hotel close to where climbers start their walk to the Everest base camp from.
The graduate left his belongings at Hotel Tibet in Namche Bazaar on April 24, promising to return for them in a few days time.
Authorities have not ruled out murder, the Sunday Times reported, although they suspect he had an accident.
However, local guides have searched all the paths he could have taken which are all well marked out.
Weather conditions at the time were good so the disappearance remains a complete mystery.
Zisimos had left his camera, phone, credit cards and driving licence at the hotel.
The graduate was reported missing on May 15 by his family when he failed to get his flight back to Manchester Airport.
The news comes days after Belgian hiker Debbie Mavea, 23, was found murdered in the Himalayan mountains.
Her body was discovered decapitated near a hiking trail in Langtang National Park. She had her camera and about £65 worth of Nepalese rupees on her, so authorities also ruled out robbery.
British backpacker Zisimos withdrew 35,000 Nepalese rupees (£250) from his bank account on April 27 – three days after he left his hotel.
In an appeal for information, his family said: ‘There must be people who have had contact with Zis. We would particularly like to appeal to trekkers who were in that area in April, and are now back home, to see if they can remember him.’
The graduate is just the latest young tourist to go missing in Nepal.
University of Colorado student Aubrey Caroline Sacco disappeared in the Himalayan mountains two years ago buthas never been found.
Gareth Koch, 24, vanished in 2004 while Julian Wynne, 33, failed to return from a hiking trip four years ago.
Alex Ratnasothy, 24, was never found after a robbery as he was on his way to the town of Namche Bazaar in 2003.
Lena Sessions, 23, an American, was hiking alone in Langtang in December when a knife-wielding man threatened to rape and kill her but she was able to escape.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have warned trekkers not to set off alone in Nepal.
Official advice says: ‘You should never trek alone. Foreign trekkers have gone missing while trekking alone and there have been incidents of solo female trekkers being attacked.’