MONTREAL— The mother of a Canadian man who went missing in a remote area of Peru more than a month ago says search teams have fanned out in a co-ordinated effort to find him.
Alisa Clamen has been without any information about Jesse Galganov since Sept. 28, when he told her he would be off the grid for a few days while on a multi-day trek near the Peruvian city of Huaraz.
His last known location was a hostel called Kame House in that town.
Clamen, who has been in Huaraz for nearly two weeks, said several teams were deployed Tuesday on a four-day search for the missing 22-year-old, checking a path he might have taken as well as a nearby river.
“Massive searches were launched today, we ramped up the searches,” the Montreal woman said in an interview.
Clamen said police have also been hunting down leads in three nearby towns, but she has enlisted the help of licensed, skilled mountain guides in Huaraz because authorities don’t have the resources and expertise for some of the legwork.
“The magnitude of the searches has been increased,” Clamen said. “The costs have just been staggering, and I’m just deploying everything.”
On Monday, a prominent Montreal family with ties to Galganov said it was donating $100,000 toward a fund in an effort to continue the search.
Well-known Montreal businessman Mitch Garber and his wife, Anne-Marie Boucher, announced the donation to a fund set up through the Missing Children’s Network to help with expenses.
“We have not, despite great effort, found Jesse yet, and we are continuing to deploy every resource available both private and governmental to find him,” Garber wrote on Facebook, encouraging others to donate whatever they can through a secure, encrypted donation platform.
“This is sadly a lengthy, frustrating and expensive, but extremely important exercise. Your support is very much appreciated.”
Clamen said she was left speechless by Garber and Boucher’s generosity.
“They have been rock solid in terms of support, both emotionally and logistically,” she said.
“They’ve helped me co-ordinate this every step of the way and their generosity is unparalleled. They love him (Jesse), their son is a very close friend of Jesse’s and he spent a lot of time with them.”
Clamen credits a close-knit group of Jesse’s own friends in Montreal for helping with the online sleuthing by creating a sort of data war room.
Strangely, technology has been a hindrance in the search. Clamen said getting companies like Apple, T-Mobile (his service provider) and Amazon to quickly and fully release data from Galganov’s devices has been frustrating.
“Every technology company has been a nightmare,” Clamen said. “It’s all been slowed down by technology.”
Galganov had been accepted to medical school but had deferred his acceptance to travel. He was in Peru as part of a meticulously planned backpacking trip through South America and Southeast Asia that was scheduled to end on May 16, 2018.
Clamen said she’ll take the time to personally thank all who’ve helped her in recent weeks.
The family has also offered a US$10,000 reward for his return.
Clamen won’t leave South America until Galganov is found.
“I’m staying put in Peru until I find my son,” she said. “I will not leave here until I come home with my son.”