U.S. graduate student missing in Costa Rica

August 14, 2009

National park personnel and Costa Rican Red Cross volunteers continued searching on Sunday for David Alexander Gimelfarb, 28, a missing Chicago doctoral student who was last seen on Aug. 11 entering Rincón de la Vieja National Park in the northwestern province of Guanacaste.

Gimelfarb´s parents, Ludmilla and Roma Gimelfarb, flew to Costa Rica last Thursday and are helping local officials with the search.

The dense forest canopy has made air searches difficult, but officials said that several teams are also combing the mountainous area on horseback and foot. Searchers from the San José Red Cross joined Liberia Red Cross teams on Saturday to expand the search area.

As of Sunday afternoon, no signs of Gimelfarb had been reported, but officials said they will continue looking.

Gimelfarb is a post-graduate student in psychology at the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois. He works with his mother at the Kraft Foods Research and Development Center in Glenview, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago, said friend and co-worker Benjamin Dias.

Dias said that two co-workers from the research center accompanied Gimelfarb´s mother to Costa Rica last week and are assisting in the search and passing out flyers to local villagers.

Gimelfarb arrived in Costa Rica about one week ago to go hiking and was staying at the Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin in Guanacaste, according to a communiqué written by the 28-year-old´s mother.

After nearly a week of searching, park rangers have informed Gimelfarb´s parents that infrared scanning may be the only way to locate him.

Gimelfarb has blonde hair, light brown eyes and is 5 feet, 6 inches tall, according to a police report filed by his father.

Anyone with information regarding Gimelfarb´s disappearance is urged to contact the Liberia Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ) at tel. 2690-0218 or the Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin at 2665-3212.

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