No trace of Panama tourists

A week after they went missing, rescuers have yet to find a trace of 21-year old Kris Kremers and 22-year old Lisanne Froon who are still lost in Panama, the Volkskrant reports.

The two Dutch travelers went for a walk near Boquete in North Panama last Tuesday, heading for the Pianista Trail, but never returned to their host family's home.

Panama's president Ricardo Martinelli emphasized that everything is being done to help find the girls. Volunteers as well as a Dutch police officer have been enlisted in the growing search action that is being coordinated by Ingrid Lommers, director of the Panama language school Spanish by the River.

Lommers says that Boquete is only a small village. "The police force is small, the official search party as well. We can't expect hundreds of investigators to suddenly get involved. But we do our best. The aid organization Sinaproc has brought a few men from Panama city to help, they are combing the entire forest."

Volunteers are also joining in, and a Dutch policeman who is usually stationed in Bogotá has also offered help. Lommers has offered a reward of 2,500 dollars via radio for the golden tip.

According to Lommers, an American who lives near the path leading to the Pianista Trail spoke to the girls, encouraging them to take an easier trail instead, which is also fun. The travelers did this, but turned back soon as they were tired and wanted to go home.

Lisanne and Kris then went to sit near the road at the hostel and spoke with the owner. Another man, who owns a nearby shop, saw them walk past. "We are not a hundred percent sure if it was Lisanne and Kris, but it does seem that way." The travelers were described as two young backpackers who spoke English with an accent. After that, no trace is left of the two girls. "Nobody saw them get on a bus or in a taxi", Lommers says.

Boquete is a small town, and a safe one, Lommers claims. She never has to warn travelers of danger, and people are not robbed on the streets during the day. Two German tourists once got lost in the forests, and "stayed the night with an Indian" before turning back the next day.

Lommers does not believe the girls are still in the forest, as it has been thoroughly searched. She does not want to speculate further, however.