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friend missing on the Camino - we are trying to get help/information

therutstuff

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
this message is about a current Camino trail
Hi Camino Trailers
We are trying to find our friend James W. who is an experienced Camino walker... his phone is broken and the last we heard from him was on the 14th November. What makes this worrying is we know he is without his needed medication. James is 37, from Melbourne, Australia. We are hoping somebody may have information, or likewise that anyone on this site may be able to offer advice on 'police contacts' in the area, 'search and rescue' etc. In 72 hours I will be flying out to Santiago to carry out a search for James - as such please contact me if you have any information. Thanks Ian (London) +44 7908850713
We know on the 14th November he had already cleared Burgos toward Santiago... we also know he sent a package of clothing ahead via courier to be collected at Santiago (we are waiting to find out if this has been collected). He should have reached Santiago by now if he remained injury free - but it is the lack of communication / lack of medication he should have - that now has everyone worried. Thanks for any help you can offer.

(Ivar: I edited out his full name)
 
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thanks guys -

[Dick Bird] - thanks so much... yes, we have. They've informed his mum to file a Missing Persons back in Australia which will allow Interpol Spain to check if he has been admitted into a hospital unconscious for any reason (verified by his passport/ID) - Interpol can also check if he has used his passport to check-in to any hostels, hotels etc (something I am currently also trying to find out myself which as you can imagine is slow going... I'm also contacting the courier services to see if they can help as we know he sent a package ahead between Burgos and Santiago)

[Tassie Kaz] - thanks also for your concern... we will keep you posted on way or another.
I will be flying into Santiago over the coming days to try and find any further information - in truth, if it was not for the medication issue and the fact four weeks with no word is approaching after he said he would stay in touch with his mum and partner (because of the medication issue) I'd likely still be thinking it is just my friend going off the grid for a few weeks and nothing more...

Let us hope it will all be a massive over-reaction and I'll be telling him off before having him buy me several rounds in a Santiago bar

thanks
Ian
 
I am going from the wrong direction to help but am in Vila do Conde and plan to be in Santiago by the 15th.

If there is any way I can help please let me know.
 
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Did he receive a compostela?
Hi - I assume he has one from past completions of the trail - on this occasion we lost contact with him just after Burgos... But I see your thinking... do you know who I could contact to see if he has been issued one in the past days? Thanks so much
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Would it not be possible to check with the various albergues west of Burgos to see if he registered overnight? Might provide some updated locations prior to Santiago. I have not yet walked a camino but my understanding is that there is some sort of nightly registration process where you show your passport?
 
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Please, all, remember there are very strict rules on disclosure of personal information in Europe. The data on who stayed where and when is available to the Guardia Civil. Individual locations cannot disclose that information to just anybody who asks. Most, at risk of prosecution, will not disclose it to anyone without the express permission of the data subject. This is a matter that can and will be handled by the Guardia. I would be amazed if anyone disclosed information to a random stranger on the phone no matter the concern.

@therutstuff I really hope you find a happy resolution to this situation but it is the official authorities that can help you. Not a bunch of well meaning people on the internet.
 
Yes indeed. And while making the odd informal enquiry in person about a friend might once in a while glean a positive response from a sympathetic hospi, phoning albergues or making official enquiries about their register is the business of the Guardia Civil.

I hope your friend has just gone off the map for his own reasons and turns up safe.
 
Have you contacted the Australian consular service? If something untoward has happened to him, the Guardia Civil would know about it so you could contact them for information without actually having to report him missing. You can write in English.
And if nothing happened to him, the Guardia Civil can look him up in the “Hospederías” database to find out the last place he obtained lodging. But instead, they’ll call the albergues and ask. At least, that’s what they did to us more than once. Like we remember ten to twenty names each night after we enter them into that database!
 
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A selection of Camino Jewellery
Hi Camino Trailers
We are trying to find our friend James W. who is an experienced Camino walker... his phone is broken and the last we heard from him was on the 14th November. What makes this worrying is we know he is without his needed medication. James is 37, from Melbourne, Australia. We are hoping somebody may have information, or likewise that anyone on this site may be able to offer advice on 'police contacts' in the area, 'search and rescue' etc. In 72 hours I will be flying out to Santiago to carry out a search for James - as such please contact me if you have any information. Thanks Ian (London) +44 7908850713
We know on the 14th November he had already cleared Burgos toward Santiago... we also know he sent a package of clothing ahead via courier to be collected at Santiago (we are waiting to find out if this has been collected). He should have reached Santiago by now if he remained injury free - but it is the lack of communication / lack of medication he should have - that now has everyone worried. Thanks for any help you can offer.

(Ivar: I edited out his full name)

I see from another comment that he has done the Camino before so maybe
he just doesn’t want to make contact with people from home?

It’s easy to get absorbed in the daily/weekly routine of the Camino and home seems pretty far away and unimportant…and with a broken phone it’s really hard to contact people…

I say this because a few months ago everyone was searching for a German woman who was supposedly ‘missing’ according to her friends.

Except it turned out that she wasn’t missing; but a lot of information about her - that should have been private - was talked about by strangers on online forums like these!
 
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It is always a challenge for family and friends to know whether there is good reason to be worried and how to respond. There needs to be a balance of concern for privacy against concern for safety and health.

Ivar and the moderators try to consider each situation on a case-by-case basis so that appropriate information can be shared on the forum, respecting both perspectives. We always encourage concerned family and friends to go through the proper authorities and processes.

On a thread such as this, we would like to stick to the relevant facts, without conjecture and abstract discussions.

We hope that @rutstuff will soon be able to report that a good resolution has come about.
 

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