The Last Hike of David Gimelfarb

On August 11, 2009, 28-year-old David Gimelfarb disappeared while hiking in Costa Rica’s Rincón de la Vieja National Park. His remains have never been found. His parents have spent more than $300,000 searching for him and are still holding out hope:

“‘We believe David is alive,’ said Roma, 66, his eyes searching mine to gauge a reaction.

“They told me that there continued to be sightings of a man who resembled their slight, red-headed son. The latest report had come last October from Limón, on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, a five-hour drive from the national park. A man who was dirty, disoriented, and unable to speak had walked into a minimart there and gestured that he needed something to drink. Recognizing him from a newscast they’d seen on TV about David’s disappearance, a family took the stranger to a local police station. But after a brief interview, the police let him go without even snapping a photograph. The minimart’s owners insisted that the man was the missing American hiker.

“Was this David Gimelfarb? Or just another false glimmer of hope for two grief-stricken parents desperate for good news?”

Published: Aug 1, 2013
Length: 19 minutes (4,896 words)