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German trekker goes missing in Nepal

Kristina Kovacevic, a 41-year-old, had headed towards the Khumbu region in Nepal, considered the gateway to the Everest region.

india Updated: May 04, 2006 12:23 IST

A German trekker has gone missing in Nepal, the third woman tourist to have disappeared in seven months.

Kristina Kovacevic, a burly 41-year-old accustomed to travelling on her own, had headed towards the Khumbu region in northern Nepal, considered the gateway to the Everest region, in March.

Her family, while accustomed to her long disappearances in the course of her travels around the world, became alarmed when she did not turn up at Bali in Indonesia in April as she had planned with her friends.

Kristina last sent an e-mail to her friends March 13 from Namche Bazar in Kumbhu. Her sister Karolin and a friend are now asking trekkers in the area whether they came across Kristina.

From January to April, Nepal had remained virtually paralysed as anti-government protests erupted countrywide.

The Opposition parties called an indefinite closure to press for the ouster of King Gyanendra's government and the royal regime retaliated by imposing curfew.

The disruptions made it even more difficult for Kristina's family to organise a search for her.

Though normally trekkers and mountaineers may not come in contact with their family and friends for long periods, Kristina's absence has raised misgivings in view of the disappearance of two Western tourists from Kathmandu valley last year.

French tourist Celine Henri and another German traveller, Sabine Gruneklee, both in their early 30s and travelling alone, disappeared between September-October last year.

Searches later revealed both had gone to the Nagarjun forest reserve. Both had signed the guest book while going in but apparently never came out.

Sabine's madly decomposed body was found among the bushes in the reserve but the Nepali authorities are yet to say whether she died of natural causes or was murdered.

There is still no trace of Celine.

The media raised the fear of a serial killer stalking single women tourists in Nepal after torn travel documents belonging to the two women as well as some of their possessions were found scattered in the reserve.