August 12, 2005

U.S. family gives up search for missing son in Nepal

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - The father of a 25-year-old American
hiker missing in Nepal since last month said on Friday the
family had called off the search around Mount Everest and given
up hope he would be ever be found.

Trevor Stokol a resident of Dallas, Texas, went missing on
July 22 while trekking near Everest Base Camp.

His family said a number of aerial and ground searches in
the foothills of the world's tallest mountain over the past
three weeks had failed to locate him.

"The search is over and we are resolved to the fact that we
are not going to find him," his father, Arnold Stokol, told

Arnold, the missing man's mother, Barbara, and sister,
Jodi, came to Nepal to coordinate the search after being told
by the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu that he had disappeared in the
scenic and rugged Khumbhu region where Everest is located.

Trevor was on the final leg of an eight-month tour of South
and Southeast Asia and was to join a medical school in Dallas.
He had phoned his family before setting off for the 5,350 meter
(17,650 feet) Everest base camp.

"The conclusion of the search team is either he was taken
by an avalanche or fallen into a crevasse," Arnold, an
optician, said, adding the family would return home on

A team of trackers led by an Australian rescue expert were
involved in the search.

Thousands of foreigners visit Nepal every year to trek and
climb its spectacular mountains. The country has eight of the
world's 14 highest mountains, including 8,850-meter (29,035
feet) Mount Everest.

A total of 185 climbers have died on both slopes of Mount
Everest, which can also be climbed from Tibet.

Trevor, an enthusiastic photographer, was carrying a camera
when he went missing after leaving his hiking companion behind.